Selling a Home As-Is: 6 Tips for 2023

Eric, Aug 8, 2022

As a real estate agent, you may occasionally come into contact with clients who want to sell their homes as-is. While your professional instinct may tell you to push the client to make repairs and to stage the home in preparation for putting it on the market, there are many valid reasons why a client may want to sell the home as-is rather than making repairs or upgrades. For example, the seller may not have the available funds to make the necessary repairs or upgrades to the home. Or, if the seller does have the funds, he or she may not feel that the extra cost and time involved in repairing or upgrading the property is worthwhile. Some sellers may simply be too busy and don’t want to invest the extra time it takes to more thoroughly prepare the property for market. Time and convenience can be major factors of consideration for some clients, such as for those sellers who have inherited a property, but do not live in the same city or state where the property is located. Similarly, for someone who has suddenly found the need to move out of state for personal or professional reasons, fixing up the house may feel like more trouble than it is worth. For these types of sellers, the hassle involved with repairing or updating the property while living in a different state may not be worthwhile. Of course, while the seller may think that selling a property as-is will help it to get sold more quickly, most REALTORS know that selling a home as-is actually tends to slow down the selling process. While facing potential market stagnation with an as-is property wasn’t as much of a concern in the past, it is something for you to take into consideration now that the market has slowed. One way to address this concern and to make the best use of your time as a seller’s agent is to limit the times that the property can be shown en masse to prospective buyers. Furthermore, with the help of these great tips, you can make the property more appealing to prospective buyers without unnecessarily wasting anyone’s time.

Tip #1: Consider Completing a Pre-Inspection

Completing a pre-inspection can help to save time while also reducing your frustration when it comes to selling a home as-is. After all, if the buyer is surprised by issues that are found during the inspection, there is a risk that the buyer will want to terminate the deal. Since an as-is home is often more likely to have hidden issues, you can reduce this potential hassle by identifying all of the property’s issues upfront. By allowing the buyer to see exactly what they are purchasing from the very start, they will be more confident in making an offer. In turn, this will make the prospective buyer more likely to stick to the deal so you can move forward to a smooth closing. Of course, completing a pre-inspection may also be used as a tool to help the seller have a better idea of what could be repaired on the home before putting it on the market. The pre-inspection may reveal that the amount of work necessary to properly prepare the home for market is not has much as the seller had anticipated. As a result, the seller may change their mind and decide to make the repairs after all. Conversely, if the seller decides to continue with putting the property on the market as-is, the pre-inspection report will help you with getting the seller to agree to a reasonable asking price for the property.

Tip #2: Provide Survey and Floorplan Information

Many clients who are interested in purchasing as-is properties are actually investors who are looking to flip the home or use the property as a rental. Providing these investors with survey and floorplan information will help them to better envision what can be done with the property. For example, they may want to add on to the property or reconfigure a floorplan in order to increase its value or to make it a more viable rental property. Every Realtor knows that proper staging is essential when it comes to getting a home sold. The more you can get the buyer to visualize living in the home, the better your chances of selling the property. Providing survey and floorplan information on a home that is being sold as-is offers the same effect as does staging a home that has been fully prepared for market. While it may not be the same as setting up the perfect lighting and highlighting the most attractive features of the property, offering this information does help the buyer to better imagine the potential that the property has to offer.

Tip #3: Obtain a Land Use and Zoning Report

Depending on the condition of the home and its location, you might want to take your efforts a step further by obtaining a land use and zoning report from a reputable local agency. If you think it is likely that the house will need to be demolished, for example, doing this work upfront will help prospective buyers see what else can be done with the land. Just as with providing survey and floorplan information, obtaining a land use and zoning report will further help prospective buyers visualize the potential value of the property. By contacting a land planning company such as Keepers Land Planning in Austin, Texas, you can obtain a report on the land feasibility of the property that is based on market value, land use, city/county ordinances and zoning. With the information that you obtain from this report, you can also better target your prospective buyers by slanting your marketing campaign toward the property’s potential. This targeted approach will help you to more effectively reach those buyers who are the most likely to be interested in purchasing an as-is property.

Tip #4: Offer Numerous Photos

Photos are just as important with an as-is property as they are with one that has been fully staged and prepared for market. In fact, photos of the property may be even more important when it comes to helping you reduce the number of unnecessary property walk-throughs. After all, if your photos allow prospective buyers to get a thorough preview of the property, they can better determine if there are certain features that they simply cannot accept without needing to see the property in real life to come to this realization. While your typical real estate photography goals are to show the home in the best possible light, your primary goal with an as-is property is to be transparent and thorough. As such, you should keep your photos basic, yet plentiful. This ensures prospective buyers have a clear idea of what they can expect when they come to see the property. Not only does this save your time, but it saves your prospective buyers’ time, too. In turn, this will also help you to maintain a positive reputation within the real estate market, making prospective buyers more likely to return to you in the future due to your honesty, transparency and respect for their time.

Tip #5: Create a Video Walk-Through

In addition to offering plenty of pictures of the property, a video walk-through will help your prospective buyers clearly visualize how the property looks. While this may seem like a lot of extra effort for an as-is property, the time that you spend upfront with ensuring you are properly representing the property will help you to save time in the long run. In addition, just as with providing ample photos of the property, a video walkthrough will help to demonstrate your integrity and professionalism as a Realtor.

Tip #6: Price the Property Appropriately

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you should be sure to price the property appropriately. The last thing you want is for the property to stagnate on the market because the price was too high. When determining the price, you should consider all of the following:
  • Value of the land
  • Cost of necessary repairs and upgrades
  • Cost of demolishing the structure if the value of the property is in its location, not the home itself
  • Fees associated with owning the property, such as insurance and taxes (otherwise referred to as carrying costs)
  • Stress and time that the prospective buyer will have to invest in repairing or repurposing the property

While you certainly want to get as much for the property as possible, you also need to be realistic in your expectations. The same is true of the property owner. By taking a closer look at the potential closing price for the property when sold as-is versus the cost of fixing it up to sell it at a higher price, you and your client can better determine the best plan of action. As a part of this conversation, be sure to be clear with your client about what can be expected throughout the selling process, as well as your strategies for selling the property at the highest possible price and as quickly as possible. In this way, your client will feel confident that he or she came to the right agent to handle the job.

About the Author

Eric Bramlett is the broker and owner of Bramlett Residential, a mid-sized brokerage in Austin, Texas. Eric is a 19 year veteran in the Austin real estate market and specializes in building systems and technology. Bramlett agents pride themselves on their exceptionally high standards for client service and both industry and market competency. Eric lives in central Austin with his wife and son. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, climbing, and traveling to be in the mountains.

Last updated: 03/23/2023

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