selling AS IS

Asked by Amy, Hays, KS Wed Jun 25, 2008

is it a REAL turn off to sell as is?
Recent widow, updated kitchen, (NEW appliances and counter) Bath(new vanity and cabinet base) new carpeting and paint in AND out. I just don't want to be bothered with fixng EVERY little thing.
Selling in CAMDEN CO, 08004

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Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Wed Jun 25, 2008

When the description says "as is" its gives the impression that the house is in distress or needs repair. From your description the house does not seem in distress but you many turn away potential buyers who are not looking for a "fixer upper". You can state that the buyer's inspection is for knowledge only but keep in mind that you are also not required to fix every little thing even that a buyer's inspection reveals so in all honesty I would stay away from any such wording about the condition of the house unless you are aware of potential problems, such as structural, water, etc. then you do need to make full disclosure of such but again, you are not required to remediate the problem. I always advise my buyers prior to the inspection, during the inspection and after the inspection that the purpose of the inspection is for major issues that are unknown to us, such as structural, termite, etc. not something petty such as the paint being chipped or the furnace is old. We visibly saw the furnace and new it was old, etc. In any event, I would stay away from the terms "as is" if the house is in overall good condition.

Good Luck.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate/Realtor
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-239-7700 ext 132
3 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Hello Amy:

Sounds like you have done a lot of improvements to your home and you just don't want to fix any tiny problmes people migh find - such as maybe a little crack on the walll, scratch on the floor, etc.

By listing "AS IS", it will make people wonder what that might mean and thought this could be a fixer, etc. Perhaps a better way is not to mention that formally but let the buyers agent know when they are brining in an offer that the buyers are welcome to do their inspections but you will not want to fix little problems which they might find but are common in a home, and that if there is major problem (which, of course, you want to stress that you do not expect to have) from the inspection, you are open to discussion.

Good luck, sounds like a nice, move-in ready home.
1 vote
Joan Prout, , Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed Jun 25, 2008

NJ is a state that requires a seller to disclose any known problems with the property. In my professional opinion (and I've sold hundreds of houses), the least expensive way to deal with an "as is" sale is to handle it the way a relocation company does. Have your home professionally inspected by a licensed home inspector BEFORE the house goes on the market, then give a copy of the report to any interested buyers.

You (and your agent) then have a detailed assessment of the condition of the house. This will help you price the house appropriately, in the first place. I attach a cover form to the the inspection report (and include in the listing) saying that you are selling the house in "as is" condition, per the attached inspection report. Seller will not repair any items listed or make any price concessions for these disclosed items. Buyers are encouraged to have their own inspection done after attorney review, but only that were not found on the seller's preinspection will be addressed.

By spending $200-400 up front: you and potential buyers and agents have a better idea of what "as is" means. You get price negotiations over ONCE, when a buyer makes an offer, and the property is still on the market so additional offers can be entertained, not have to renegotiate after a buyer's home inspection -- which takes place after the home is under contract and receiving few if any showings. (buyers have the advantage at this point.)

More times than not, repair concessions that are requested by buyers' attorneys are high (I've heard an estimate of double) what the repairs would cost. I have seen some pretty outrageous amounts ($2000 for a new refrigerator, because a 10-year old fridge didn't register cold enough at a buyer's inspection. or $500 because an old dishwasher's seal was failing.) Also, if a buyer's inspection comes up with a laundry list of items, a seller will usually "give in on something" to keep a deal together.

There are some home inspectors who understand this, and there was one in my area that would peform a seller's presale inspection on a house listed for sale with a REALTOR, who would wait for his payment until closing (or 90 days, I think). It's worth discussing with home inspectors you interview.

My best advice to you is to hire an experienced, professional REALTOR to represent you in the sale of your house. If you need help finding an agent, contact me.

Good luck with your sale.

Joan Prout, MBA
Broker Associate
Jersey City, NJ
Web Reference:
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Every home is sold "as is". You are perhaps more concerned about the marketing, as opposed to have a 'perfect home". There is no such thing as a "perfect home"
That is the value of have professional representation by a Realtor. We are in homes all the time and know what is important to buyers.

The Realtor's primary job is to expose the value in your home to the market, then negotiate the best price with the buyer, and work for a smooth transaction. The National Association of Realtors surveys show that buyers prefer a home that they can simply move into without too much work.

There is a saying "everyone pays to maintain their home. Some while they live in it, some at the sale, but we all pay to maintain our home". Having a Realtor give you advice on what to do to maximize the value projected by your home is one of the most valuable services we offer. Interview three Realtors and see what they recommend.

Good luck
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Wed Jun 25, 2008
I would make sure the house is priced very competitively and have it spotless. It sounds perfect for someone who is looking for a cosmetic fixer upper. The new appliances and counter are nice as is a new vanity and cabinet in the bath, but today's buyer is looking for much more extensive renovations. Since you have new carpeting and paint, just make sure it shows like a shiny penny (it bright, sparkles and smells good, no pet or smoking smells) and is priced right.
1 vote
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Wed Jun 25, 2008
If you've done all that work, I would suggest contacting the town for a certificate of occupancy inspection. There might not be a need to fix anything to get your CO. Remember, you don't have to fix everything! It's a negotiation. If your CO inspection doesn't find problems, I wouldn't mention 'As Is'. If there are substantial problems at least you'll know up front.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Selling "as is" sometimes is a good strategy, but usually for houses that need some work. It'll sometimes bring out a frenzy of bargain hunters. Maybe not so much now, since foreclosures are sold "as is," and that's diluted the pool of "as is" and "handyman special" offerings. Still, the phrase "as is" tends to attract bargain hunters.

In your case, though, just price the house accordingly. One thing you might do--ask your Realtor whether this technique is likely to work well where you are--is to set money aside as a "decorating allowance." Promote it in the listing. Some buyers know that they'd like to do work on any house they buy--maybe new paint, maybe some light fixtures, maybe some window coverings, and so on. But they're concerned that they may not have enough free cash after buying a property to do what they know they'll want to do. So you do it for them. Set the money aside upfront. Make it a strength of your marketing plan. That should reduce the requests for the smaller repairs or upgrades. And when you do receive them, your agent can point to the "decorator's allowance," explain that that's what it's for, and that will allow the buyers to do the things to their tastes.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Warren, NJ
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Hi Amy, I agree with Gina. The wording "as is" is a turn off and will push buyers away from your property, while the list of improvements and updates you mention will do just the opposite. Describe all of the positive features of your home to draw buyers to it, be honest about disclosing any issues in your disclosure statement and hire a good realtor to assist you with your sale. When you are fortunate enough to have an acceptable contract in attorney review, your attorney can assist you with clarifying the understanding of what will be addressed during the inspection. You can even specify a dollar limit for potential repairs. Talk to your attorney and your agent to calm your concerns further.

Good luck to you. It sounds like you have a very nice home - I recommend that you not inadvertantly turn away your buyer with the term "as is".

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
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1 vote
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Wed Jun 25, 2008
As Gina stated you can always sell your home and stand firm on the negotiations. Or if you know of somethings that are wrong build a little into your asking price and as they negotiate just say that since they want price X these items will not be fixed. If they pay price Y you will give a concession at closing for them to have it fixed. Make sure your agent highlights everything you have done as you mentioned in your post. You do not have to do anything as far as the negotiations. You don't even have to sell. Just let your agent know your stance and if they want your home they will buy it.
1 vote
Nicholas Chr…, Agent, SEWELL, NJ
Sun Jul 6, 2008
As is tends to raise red flags. If you don't want to be bothered with fixing things you can always just say no to those items. I'd leave it off the listing. Any more questions feel free to contact me.
0 votes
Dave Werth, , 58102
Tue Jul 1, 2008
Sold as is, means Sold as is! Nothing dramatic about it, so don't loose sleep over it. Price is negotiable and this clause also keeps you out of arbitration and court down the road if someone doesn't think you were fair on your disclosures, which you absolutely need to be! If you don't want to be belittled, you don't have to be, keep in mind, price is what sells homes, not anything more or less, as they all play major roles here and there, but if priced right and sold as is, you got it on the head! Good luck !
0 votes
Jeremy S. Hi…, , Cherry Hill, NJ
Wed Jun 25, 2008
Hello Amy,

My office is in Cherry Hill. I've spent my early years in Camden before my family moved to Pennsauken. I done quite a few transaction in the city. You should know about changes the city has made in obtaining a certifiicate of occupancy. When you call me I can show you how you can get the highest return on your home without alot of hassle.

Best Regards,
Jeremy S. Hill, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
1814 Route 70 East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Office: 856.685.1651
Fax: 856.321.1414
Direct: 609.876.5817
"Your Interest 1st Always!"
0 votes
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