Sometimes we fall in love with a home that is being sold “as-is” which benefits sellers and can either be a great deal for buyers or a complete nightmare. Legally, “as-is” means that the seller doesn’t want to make repairs, of which there can be many. The buyer then gets the home but with no guarantee that something is not minutes away from completely breaking down and needing to be replaced. What the buyer sees is what the buyer gets and sometimes more because there is no telling what you can’t see.
However, “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
While the home that is being sold “as is” is most likely priced lower than it’s neighbors it does not mean you would be getting the home for a bargain. If there are repairs to be made, there will be a cost. It would be good to get an inspection so that you know what repairs need to be made and what it will cost to get them done before you call the home a “bargain”.
Getting a loan for a home sold “as-is” is not an easy one. 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.
Other than getting an inspection, which is definitely recommended so that you know what you are getting yourself into, an experienced Realtor should be hired. A good agent will help to appraise the home based on comps and then based on the “after repair” value. Negotiating will be much easier with the seller when you have the help of a Realtor.
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.