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
RE/MAX Villa REALTORS
Jersey City, NJ