Selling a house ‘as is’ implies you’re selling it in its current condition — whether it has costly foundation issues or simply needs fresh paint.
Selling as is may be the right path for you if you’re looking for a quick sale — and one that’s less of a hassle than a traditional listing.
However, unless you’re in a highly competitive market, selling as is generally means accepting a lower sale price.
Here’s how to figure out whether selling your house in its current condition is right for you — and the factors that affect your as-is home value.
What does it really mean to sell a house as is?
“The ‘as-is’ checkbox on a home purchase contract primarily serves to inform buyers that the property is being sold in its current condition, and the seller is not responsible or obligated to make any repairs,” explains real estate investor and former realtor Steve Nicastro.
However, Nicastro notes that “the clause doesn’t prevent the buyer from conducting a home inspection or from trying to negotiate repairs or credits based on the findings.” Also, sellers are still on the hook for disclosing any known issues with the property.
“If a significant issue is discovered during the home inspection that was not disclosed on the seller’s property disclosure form, the buyer might argue that the issue should have been disclosed,” says Nicastro. “In such cases, the buyer may have grounds to request a price reduction, a credit, or even to back out of the sale, depending on the severity of the issue and the terms of the contract.”
However, by listing your home as is, you’re more likely to attract buyers who anticipate repairs from the outset. These include investors and bargain hunters willing to take on a fixer-upper.
Common reasons for selling as is
You need to sell quickly: Selling your house as is could be a good option if you need to sell quickly, such as to avoid foreclosure or move for a job. “If there is a time crunch, it might be best to take a cash offer and move on,” advises Suzanne Seini of Innovate Realty. But “if you have the time to wait, it doesn’t hurt to test the market and try and get a premium for your home.”
You live in a competitive market: Also consider your local real estate market. “If the market is slow,” says Elisha Lopez, a licensed broker and owner of Ocala Realty World in Central Florida, “you may want to fix up the house to increase the number of potential purchasers. But if there is low inventory and high demand in your area, you’re going to be able to sell your home as is.”
You want to avoid repairs: You may also consider selling as is if you live in (or have recently inherited) an outdated home and don’t want to put money into repairs. In that case, it may make sense to let the buyer remodel so they can create the home they want.
Risks of selling as is
Selling a house as is comes with some potential downsides.
Lower sale price
The biggest downside to selling a house as is is a potentially lower sale price. Since buyers are taking on the risk, cost, and time associated with repairs, sellers should expect to make less than what they would if they invested in repairs upfront.
Depending on market conditions and the repairs needed on your house, you could get a better outcome by completing at least some repairs.
For example, Fort Worth realtor Josiah Carter recently helped a seller put a home on the market after it had received an initial offer of $220,00 from an investor.
“The seller chose to invest $12,000 in repairs, including new carpet, cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint throughout the house,” explains Carter. “After these improvements, the property was listed for $275,000, in line with comparable sales in the area. By choosing to make the repairs, the seller stands to net an additional $43,000 in profit.”
That said, if you’re selling in a highly competitive market, repairs may not be necessary to get a decent price.
“The profit you make depends on the market you’re in,” advises Lopez. “In Florida, for example, buyers are looking to purchase homes despite high mortgage rates. Many sellers still see competitive offers on homes that need work. If you put money into repairs, you’re decreasing your bottom line.”
Limited buyer pool
As-is properties tend to have a much smaller buyer pool, which is one of the reasons why they also tend to sell for less. Unless you’re in a seller’s market, most buyers are going to favor homes that are move-in ready.
The primary audiences for homes sold as is are investors and other bargain hunters. While investors offer the convenience of a quick sale and are more willing to buy homes in disrepair, they generally look to purchase these homes at a discount — often only 60–75% of their expected post-repair value.
Potential financing delays
If you’re listing your home as is on the open market, you’re at higher risk of offers falling through because of financing issues.
Mortgage lenders typically require a home appraisal before approving a loan. If there are serious issues with the property or it is unlivable, many lenders will refuse the loan.
Financing will be less of an issue if you’re mainly entertaining cash offers, such as from investors who already have their financing lined up. But if you’re hoping to sell to a traditional buyer, you should be prepared to get your home up to livable standards or expect some financing delays.
Benefits of selling as is
Here are some of the main benefits of selling as-is.
Potential for a faster close
An as-is sale is typically faster than trying to get your house ready for listing.
“You can post your property on the market as is and get done with it right away — saving yourself weeks or even months of waiting for repairs, renovations, and other chores to be finished,” says Brady Bridges, broker and owner of Reside Real Estate.
If you sell to a cash buyer, such as a real estate investor, you could potentially close even faster. These buyers don’t require financing approval and are experienced in quick sales. Some cash investors are able to close in less than two weeks.
No need to make repairs (though buyers can still ask for them)
Selling as-is means you can skip time-consuming and potentially costly repairs, since buyers agree to accept the home in its current condition.
Just keep in mind that buyers can still request repair concessions, especially if a defect is discovered during the inspection.
“Unless previously agreed on making the offer (which would not be very common), whatever repairs are noted on an inspection report are totally negotiable,” advises realtor Sammy Lyon. “Even though the house is being sold in its ‘as-is’ present physical condition, that doesn’t mean the buyer can’t ask for the $22k in roof repairs that were discovered in escrow.”
“Frankly, if the buyer gets surprise quotes like that and the seller takes a hard-line on not making any repairs or giving credit, the transaction is likely to fall out of escrow. And the seller now needs to disclose issues found to the next buyer,” says Lyon.
Less hassle over inspections
More than 1 in 4 home sellers regret making too many concessions to the buyer during negotiations, according to a recent survey from Clever Real Estate. These concessions are often a result of issues that arise during the inspection. However, inspections tend to be less of a hassle in as-is sales compared to traditional home sales.
Some buyers of as-is properties — particularly investors — may waive the inspection contingency altogether.
While entering into an as-is contract doesn’t guarantee that a buyer won’t try to renegotiate the terms of a sale if a major issue is discovered, such negotiations are less common.
“From the seller’s perspective, ‘as is’ is the strongest option in your favor when it comes to the contract types,” says Nicastro.
Should you fix up your house or sell it as is?
The decision on whether to fix up a home that needs work before listing — and where to put the money if you do — is really on a case by case basis.
“Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t,” says Sharlys Leszczuk, a seasoned real estate broker with Windermere West LLC, “It depends on the market, the home, and the cost of improvements.”
Consider the local market
Your local market will largely determine how much your property could sell for. If you live in a market with low housing inventory and strong buyer demand, your home could sell for a great price even if it looks outdated.
In cities like Boston, Phoenix, and Riverside, CA, for example, homes designated as ‘fixer uppers’ sell for only 1-2% less than move-in ready homes, according to recent research from Porch. However, in other markets, such as Omaha, NE, Spokane, WA, and St. Louis, MO homes in need of work command less than half the typical home price.
“In a seller’s market, as-is sales can be more lucrative due to high demand and low supply,” says Jave Blackburn, CEO of WeBuyAnyHouseAsIs. “However, in a buyer’s market, making key repairs can significantly increase the home’s appeal and value.”
Take stock of your home’s condition
For most buyers, uninhabitable properties and even those in need of major work are likely off the table.
“Selling ‘as-is’ can mean one of two things,” says Elisha Lopez, a realtor based in Central Florida. “It could mean the seller prefers not to make repairs, but there’s nothing really wrong with the home. Or, it could be referring to a complete floor-to-ceiling rehab. In that case, the home would not qualify for standard financing and would only be available to cash buyers.”
Approximately 80% of home buyers use a mortgage to purchase a house. But before lenders extend financing on a home, they get it appraised to ensure that the home meets certain standards and is actually worth the price being offered.
If you’re selling a home in poor condition, buyers might struggle to access the funds to purchase it — limiting your prospects to buyers who can pay cash.
Investors are more open to buying homes that need extensive repairs. However, they’re going to pay less than a traditional buyer, since they need to make a profit for the deal to make sense.
“The way we decide on our offer number is by taking the ARVCash Savvy Home Buyers. “A house that needs a ton of work done to it will get a much lower offer than a home that just needs a new roof and a fresh paint job.”and subtracting repair, staging, listing, and utility costs, taxes, and our profit,” says investor Matthew Coan of
Calculate your expected return on investment
While making repairs can help make your home more attractive to buyers — which may lead to a quicker sale or more offers — there’s no guarantee that you’ll earn more from the sale than you invested in repairs.
“Oftentimes, I have seen sellers pour money into a property just so they can sell for top dollar. The problem is, those sellers don’t always recoup their investment,” says Texas-based realtor Lee Harbaugh. “For example, spending $50,000 on new windows is not going to allow one to sell their home for $50,000 more than if they sold as-is. They might get an additional $5,000 – $10,000 at best.”
“On the other hand, spending $20,000 on kitchen upgrades will very likely get the seller an additional $20,000 on their sale,” continues Harbaugh. “The key is to understand what components of home upgrades buyers are willing to pay more for.”
Take advantage of free quotes from professionals
Most realtors agree that lower-cost, high-impact improvements such as replacing outdated flooring, doing a deep clean, and freshening up the paint and light fixtures can often pay for themselves.
But if your home has a serious issue, such as outdated plumbing or a broken heating system, it’s worth getting a professional opinion before sinking money into repairs.
- First, reach out to contractors to see how much it would cost to get them fixed.
- Then, have a realtor or two run an analysis of similar homes to see what your property could sell for both with and without those improvements.
“If a house needs a costly renovation, such as full roof replacement or new HVAC. it’s better to leave the house at its current stage,” says Seth Williams, owner and real estate broker at sellinboston.com.
Such extensive repairs can easily cost tens-of-thousands of dollars and are unlikely to offer a dollar for dollar return on investment.
Below are the estimated costs vs. ROI for some of the most common home improvements. However, actual costs will vary by market and contractor, so you’ll want to do your research before pulling the trigger on repairs.
Indoor improvement costs vs. ROI
|Hardwood flooring refinish
|New wood flooring
|Interior paint job
|Basement conversion to living area
|Attic conversion to living area
|Complete kitchen renovation
|Add new bathroom
|Add new primary bedroom suite
Outdoor improvement costs vs. ROI
|New asphalt roofing
|Garage door replacement
|Fiber cement siding
|Steel front door
|Fiberglass front door
|Exterior paint job
What are my options for selling as-is?
There are a few different ways to sell your house as is:
The option that’s best for you depends on your home’s condition, the potential costs and return on investment for repairs, and how quickly you need to sell.
Sell to a cash buyer company
The benefit of selling to a cash buyer is they can close quickly, sometimes in less than two weeks. Cash buyers are also willing to purchase homes that other buyers won’t — with little risk of the financing falling through.
The downside is that investors usually pay less than what your home could potentially be worth.
“Most investors won’t pay more than 70% of a home’s after-repair value,” says Alex Locklear of NC Cash Home Buyers. “This is because we need to take into account the repair and renovation costs, as well as our desired profit.”
However, each cash buyer has their own investing strategy, which can result in substantially different offers — even on the same house. Most investors can also help you avoid paying realtor fees and closing costs, which can somewhat make up for the lower sale price.
For the best possible price from an investor, get multiple offers and compare the terms attached.
Sell to an iBuyer
iBuyers are large companies, such as Opendoor and Offerpad, that also make all-cash offers on homes. Unlike cash buyers, they operate mostly in major cities and will only buy homes in fairly good condition.
iBuyers offer a quick and streamlined selling experience. You can close in about two weeks and much of your transaction is handled online. Offers usually aren’t as high as fair market value, but they’re usually above what an investor would offer.
However, in exchange for higher offers, iBuyers typically purchase homes in fairly good condition — meaning the updates needed are mostly cosmetic. They also charge service fees of about 5% and deduct for repairs.
If your home only has some wear and tear and you want to avoid the inconvenience of showings, then an iBuyer is worth considering. However, if your home needs significant renovations, iBuyers are unlikely to be a viable option.
Put your home on the market
Putting your home on the market with a realtor will get your home the largest possible audience of potential buyers. While many buyers want move-in ready homes, plenty are looking for bargains. In fact, our recent survey of millennial home buyers found that 67% would purchase a fixer upper.
An experience real estate agent will know how to appeal to buyers who are open to homes that need repairs — and be able to advise on which improvements (if any) may be worth the investment before listing.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be upfront about your home’s condition in your listing. Many mortgage providers won’t approve financing for buyers purchasing homes in poor condition.
Disclosing known issues helps you avoid deals falling through because of financing problems — in most states, providing a seller’s disclosure is also required by law.
Get a better rate with a discount brokerage
By listing on the open market, you could sell for more than you would with a cash buyer or iBuyer. But you’ll still likely have to take a price cut depending on your home’s condition.
To save money, it could be a good idea to find a brokerage that offers discounted commission rates.
Options include well-known discount brokerages like Redfin as well as top-rated agent matching services like Clever Real Estate. Companies like Clever connect home sellers to traditional realtors offering discounted rates through their network.
We recommend screening multiple agents before signing a listing agreement. “Just because someone has a license doesn’t mean they are qualified to really dig deep to get your home sold,” cautions top-selling realtor Nathan Clark. “Most agents sell 0-4 homes per year.”
⚡ Find a better agent at a better rate. Get matched with top local agents offering lower rates through our network. Compare agents from the best local brokerages, including major brands like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. Get agent proposals sent straight to your inbox, choose the best fit for you, and get a 1.5% listing fee when you sell.
How to succeed selling a house as is
Be upfront about your home’s condition
Nearly 10% of all real estate transactions get delayed and 37% of canceled contracts fall through because of home inspection issues, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
You can negate much of this risk by disclosing issues upfront — something that’s generally required by law in most states.
Being honest about the condition of your home reduces the chances that a buyer hesitates over an inspection issue — or worse, holds you legally liable for an issue that wasn’t disclosed during the escrow period.
Get a realistic idea of your home’s before and after repair value
“Get quotes from multiple contractors for the repairs needed,” advises real estate broker Sharlys Leszczuk. “This is not only good for you to decide whether or not to make the improvements yourself, but this will also give you a great negotiation tool to counter an offer that comes in below your list price.”
With quotes in hand, talk to a real estate agent to learn how much your house could potentially sell for either with or without those repairs. If the difference in selling price is smaller than the cost of the repairs, then those repairs are probably not worthwhile.
Don’t go overboard with improvements
“With any repair project, it’s important not to over-improve or exceed the neighborhood standard,” says Jim Olenbush, founder of Austin Real Estate.
If you put $150,000 into repairs in effort to raise your home value, but the typical home in your neighborhood is selling for only $200,000, you may have trouble recouping your costs.
A good rule of thumb is to “evaluate the competition and what has sold in your area,” advises realtor Suzanne Seini.
“If you see homes selling in your neighborhood for a high premium that look new and updated, it may be a good idea to upgrade your house to the same level. But sometimes all it takes is some new paint and a deep clean,” says Seini.
This may be especially true in high-demand neighborhoods where lots of revitalization is happening. In those cases, buyers may be looking to make their own mark on the home.
Focus on low-cost, high-visibility updates
If your home is uninhabitable and likely to be demolished and rebuilt by the buyer, then investing in repairs makes little sense. But if it’s otherwise livable, then doing at least some cheap and easy repairs is probably worthwhile.
“We recently helped a seller who had been on the market for two months with no offers,” recalls Seini. “We pulled the home off the market, updated the flooring and paint, and added new staging. The home sold in less than 30 days over the list price with multiple offers.”
The following repairs can help boost the value and presentation of your home, are relatively easy to complete, and generally only cost a few hundred dollars.
- Repainting your home’s interior or exterior
- Deep cleaning and decluttering
- Changing outdated light fixtures
- Touching up the landscaping
Explore financing options for more in-depth repairs
“There are various options available for sellers to address repair costs without upfront payments,” advises realtor Josiah Carter. For example, “many contractors are willing to defer payment until closing, which can be conveniently settled through the title company.”
Your realtor may also offer free home preparation services through their brokerage.
“If the home’s not in the best condition, we have contractors that can come in to paint and do repairs,” says Texas-based realtor JC Young. “We wait to get paid at closing so the seller can get a higher price for their home.”
Young’s brokerage also offers “value-added” services such as deep cleaning, staging, virtual staging, and curb appeal — all of which can be paid for out of the closing proceeds.
These options can be especially helpful for more expensive or in-depth repairs, such as adding new flooring or updating a bathroom.
Consider lowering your sale price or offering repair credits upfront
If you know there’s a major issue with your house but don’t want to take on the work yourself, you can mention that you’re willing to offer the buyer a repair credit in your listing.
Realtor Tamar Asken recalls helping a client purchase a property from a seller who knew his house needed a serious foundation repair. “He had gotten a bid for $40,000 for the repair and wrote into the contract that he was going to leave $40,000 from the proceeds of the sale in an escrow account to be paid to the foundation repair company at close, thereby taking the problem out of the negotiation completely,” says Asken.
Another option is to adjust your sale price to account for the repairs needed and note it in your listing description.
Compare multiple offers before selling to a cash buyer
If you’re considering selling a cash buyer, get multiple offers before signing a contract.
While ‘house flippers’ may try to keep their offers to no more than 70% of a home’s estimated resale value, investors with alternate offer strategies may pay more.
“At my company, we buy and hold properties for the long term,” says investor Matthew Pezon. “Most of the time we can offer up to 85% of the market value less repairs if our financial analysis checks out for a rental property.”
With more offers on the table, you may even be able to get investors to counter each other for more money.
⚡ Get competing cash offers — no fees or commissions. Compare multiple offers from trusted local investors and iBuyers. Plus, get a professional opinion of your home’s fair market value. Our cash offer network is free to home sellers, proposals are sent straight to your inbox, and there’s no obligation to move forward with an offer. Simply tell us about your property, and we’ll do everything we can to get you the best possible price for your home.
Frequently asked questions about selling a house as-is
How much money do you lose when you sell a house as-is?
How much money you lose selling a house as is depends on who you sell to. If you sell to a cash buyer company, you could receive only 60%–75% of your home's after-repair value. This option could still be worth it if your top priority is to sell quickly. For more money from an as-is home sale, your best bet is to do a traditional sale. Even though you may lose money selling a house as is compared to the home's after-repair value, you’ll likely have a much higher selling price through a traditional real estate transaction than you would with cash offer companies.
Can you sell a house as-is without inspection?
Yes, you can sell a home as is without a home inspection. Selling as-is homes without inspections is becoming more common, especially in hot markets. Home buyers can submit an offer without getting an inspection, but they might choose to get one later. When selling a house as-is, sellers usually aren't required to make repairs even if the inspection report uncovers issues. However, some buyers may ask for an inspection contingency that would allow them to back out if the report unveils issues they don’t want to take on.
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