Many people fall in love with a home that is being sold “as-is” What exactly does “Sold As-Is” mean? Sellers will list their home for sale as-is when they don’t want to do any repairs before closing. It means there are no guarantees from the seller that everything’s in working condition. When you buy an“as-is” home and later find major problems, you’re responsible for the repairs.
“As-is” does not always mean there are issues broken beyond repair. Often there are simply minor and even no issues. It means you are buying the home in whatever condition it is currently in. You can have an inspection done but won’t be able to negotiate to get the repairs done. Having a professional inspect the home before the purchase is important. While you would have to pay for the inspection yourself, it is a small investment to make that can help you avoid thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.
A home that is being sold “as is” is most likely priced lower than its neighbors does not mean you would be getting the home for a bargain. If there are repairs to be made, there will be a cost. Many buyers like these types of homes because there is a good chance there are just relatively minor repairs to be made – such as a new roof – and the home is worth more than they paid for it. Of course if the inspection comes back and there is something huge, like a foundation issue, the deal might be better to avoid.
Getting a loan for a home sold “as-is” is much more difficult and complicated than getting a loan for a home that has gone through the traditional processes. Banks use homes as collateral and any home in poor condition can be grounds for a loan being rejected. Buyers would have to come up with the money on their own. If you are a first time home buyer, purchasing a home “as-is” might not be the best direction.
Hiring the best Realtor to help you navigate the process of buying this type of home will be your best decision. It helps to have someone on your side that can provide good advice and help to know when to back out of a deal if they are sure you will lose a lot of money in the long run. Another bonus of having a Realtor is that they can help with the process of securing a loan as well as figuring out an estimate of the budget you will need for any repairs.
The Bottom Line: There are plenty of homes on the market listed “as-is” that discourage many buyers. Of course, you should be cautious, but “as-is” does not always mean that the house is a money pit. Sometimes the seller can’t vouch for any repair work that has been done – thus an inspection can help and a decision can be made accordingly. Or, the home could have been inherited and the seller is not aware of issues and does not want the responsibility of fixing any problems. Whatever the reason, it’s in the buyer’s best interest to get all the information about the house before an offer is made.