How to handle an “as is” sale successfully isn’t hard or mysterious. It’s strategic. Because these situations can be managed fairly and openly, they’re a win for both sides.
What Is An “As Is” Sale?
Basically an “as is” sale is exactly that – the house is being sold as it is, take it or leave it. The seller will do nothing so you buy the house in the condition it is. Period.
Homeowners want an “as is” sale. Sales contracts include the words “as is” almost always. While this is true, it almost always is meaningless. Because nearly all sales contracts have an inspection contingency, there is no “as is” sale in reality. Also, unless a house is sold representing that a major system is broken (for example plumbing, no heat working etc), sales contracts also include that all major systems are working.
“As is” Is Often Meaningless
Buyers have a right to inspect a house because most contracts contain an inspection contingency. Contingencies must be satisfied; if not, the contract is cancelled and the sale is dead.
If the inspection finds problems, buyers ask the seller to fix or give them a financial credit for those problems. So this becomes another negotiation. When buyers and sellers are reasonable (most of the time) this works out and the house is sold. While “as is” may be in a sales contract, reality is different.
There are times, however, when a house is truly sold in “as is” condition. There is no accommodation made whatsoever for any inspection or other issues. Homes sold like this are usually foreclosures, short sales, or wrecks.
How To Handle An “as is” Sale Successfully
You are looking for a home to fix up. You don’t want to pay a premium for a renovated or updated home. As a result, you look for distressed properties or wrecks that have potential. These are almost always “as is” sales. The issue is how to handle an as is sale successfully so you don’t buy a mistake.
The answer is get the house inspected during Attorney Review. (Go to my website where I explain the process and Attorney Review for you if you don’t remember.) It’s easy to cancel during Attorney Review.
I urge my buyers to do this when it’s truly an “as is” sale. Why? To protect themselves. Buyers ask me why they should inspect a house before they have a firm contract. It costs money to inspect a house. There is a risk to be sure.
You can lose the house during Attorney Review if a higher offer comes in. The home inspection might show so many defects that you don’t proceed. You’ve spent money on a house you won’t buy. That’s the point however. Sellers don’t lose a lot of time off the market too.
Get the home inspected during Attorney Review so you’re not stuck with a mistake in a true “as is” sale. I think it’s worth spending $500-700 to avoid a calamity. The decision is yours of course. This is simply my best advice on how to handle an “as is” sale successfully.
Questions? Need help with a home search? Want information or advice? Call or text me at 201-741-8490