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Home Selling

Selling a House As Is

So you’re thinking of selling your house, and you’d like to just move out and move on! But it’s got problems—like a leaky roof, finicky plumbing, or maybe a 1950s kitchen with ugly orange cabinets.

Maybe you’re not sure it’s even worth the time and money it would take to fix up your home for buyers. And if you’re really honest, maybe you don’t really want to fix it up. You’d rather just be done.

We get it. And there’s a solution: You can sell your house as is. 

To help you decide whether to sell your house as is, we’ll answer some common questions—like what as is actually means and what the pros and cons are—and then we’ll get into how to sell your home as is.

Let’s dive in!

What Does It Mean to Sell My House As Is?

In real estate, selling a house as is means you won’t repair or improve the property before you sell it, and you won’t cover any repair costs for the buyer either.

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This last one is a big deal, because many home buyers will try to negotiate with you based on repairs your home needs. For example, if your roof is worn out and will cost $5,000 to fix, they might ask you to knock that amount off the final sale price.

Selling as is means that ain’t gonna happen. It tells buyers: What you see is what you get. The home is a fixer-upper that won’t be repaired or improved before it’s sold, so it’s priced and marketed to sell quickly. That means you don’t have to pour any extra money into it—and buyers can score a lower price.

Should I Sell My House As Is?

Selling as is feels sort of like slapping a big ol’ clearance sign on your house—Everything Must Go! Sure, you’ll earn less money at the closing table than if you made the repairs. But if you need to move pronto and can’t (or don’t want to) renovate your home, selling it as is could be a good option.

At this point, you’re probably scratching your head wondering, Should I sell my house as is? A list of the pros and cons can be a big help in answering that question. Let’s take a look.

Pros of Selling a House As Is

  • Save time: You won’t have to wait an eternity for a contractor to finish repairs before you list your home. And because the price is lower, there’s a better chance the buyers will pay in cash. That means the closing process will likely move much faster since you’d be avoiding the headache known as the mortgage approval process, which always slows things down.
  • Save money: Home renovations can get heckin’ expensive. When you sell as is, you won’t have to spend a bunch of money—or worse, go into debt—to make major repairs or improvements, which can cost up to $150 per square foot.1 Imagine, just renovating a 100-square-foot kitchen alone might cost $15,000! Remember, going into debt to fix your home is never worth the risk.

Cons of Selling a House As Is

  • Fewer offers: The lower price of an as-is home might attract buyers. But don’t be surprised if the repairs that need to be done scare some of them off. Plus, some lenders won’t even approve buyers for a mortgage on a fixer-upper. That might limit your potential buyers, and the people who are interested are more likely to be house flippers and real estate investors.
  • Lower profits: When you’re selling a house as is, that typically means there’s a lot of work to be done—and the buyer knows they’ll have to eat the cost. Potential buyers will try like crazy to talk you down on price to make up for those repair costs—so don’t expect to turn a huge profit.

How Much Will I Lose if I Sell My House As Is?

In 2021, the average cost of a fixer-upper home (aka a home that sold as is) was $280,000—while move-in ready homes sold for 25% more!2 That’s a bummer. But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sell your home as is if the situation calls for it.

Sometimes selling as is just makes more sense mathematically than doing home improvements to boost value.

Take Kim for example. She needs to sell her home in Cincinnati, Ohio, because she’s relocating to another state. Her house needs a new roof, exterior paint, carpeting and some foundation repairs. She’s trying to decide if she should sell it as is or fix it up to sell it at a higher price.

As is, Kim’s house is worth $200,000. In Cincinnati, a move-in ready home costs about 7% more than a fixer upper.3 So if she made the repairs, her house might sell for $214,000. That’s a $14,000 bump—which sounds pretty good!

But let’s look at how much repairs would cost her:

  • Roof replacement: $5,600 to $11,8004
  • Exterior paint: $1,800 to $4,3005
  • Carpet: $800 to $2,8006
  • Foundation repairs: $2,100 to $7,4007

If Kim pays the bare minimum for repairs, she’s still going to spend $10,300—which means she’ll only make an extra $3,700 at closing. And if she shells out for higher-end repairs, Kim will spend $26,300—so she’ll actually lose $12,000 trying to make her home move-in ready.

In Kim’s case, the repairs wouldn’t even be worth all the trouble. Now, your case might be a little different. You’ll want to look at what similar as-is homes and similar move-in ready homes are worth in your area. If there’s a big gap between the two numbers, it wouldn’t hurt to get quotes from some contractors and see about those repairs.

But if you don’t have the time or money to spend on home repairs, selling as is might be your best bet to help you focus on your next adventures.

How to Sell a House As Is

To sell a house as is, you can pretty much follow the same steps as a standard home sale—you just won’t have to sweat the home staging part. But you will have to market it a little differently.

With an as-is home, you have to show everything—flaws and all. Sometimes, that doesn’t matter and the buyer loves the place anyway. Other times, you’ll feel like your house is the kid who gets picked last in gym class.

Now here’s the good news: You can do things to help your home get picked sooner! To get a handle on how to market (and sell) your home as is, follow these tips:

1. Get Advice From a Local Real Estate Agent

You might not want to pay for an agent, but trust us, it’s worth the cost to sell with a real estate agent—especially when you’re selling your home as is.

For starters, they’ll help you set a realistic price. Sellers agents do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to find out what similar homes have sold for in your area. That way, you can set a fair price from the start and help keep your home from sitting on the market for too long—like a bunch of mushy bananas nobody wants. Gross.

They’ll also know how to find the best buyer. An agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)—a home-listing database that’s only operated by real estate professionals. They can use the MLS to hook you up with legit buyers who are actually interested in purchasing an as-is home.

And finally, your real estate agent can help you market your home’s positive features—like location, size and floor plan—so you can actually sell it for a reasonable price. And when you get an offer, your agent will step in to help you get a fair deal at the negotiating table.

2. Disclose Defects

Selling your house as is doesn’t mean creating a booby trap for the next buyer. You’ll have to tell potential buyers what they’re getting themselves into before making a deal. It’s the right thing to do, and in many cases, it’s the law.

Some states legally require you to give the buyer a disclosure report that shows buyers all the problems with your house ahead of time so they don’t try to back out of the deal later.

Here are a few examples of problems you might have to disclose to potential buyers:

  • Foundation damage
  • Plumbing problems
  • Electrical issues
  • Water intrusion
  • Mold

Other states have a caveat emptor rule, which is just a fancy way of saying “let the buyer beware”—meaning it’s up to your buyer to learn the defects of your house.

Every state has different laws about disclosure reports, so check with your real estate agent to find out what you’re legally obligated to disclose.

3. Do a Home Inspection Before Listing

So how do you avoid getting slapped in the face by your state’s disclosure laws? Get a home inspection done before you list your house. It usually only costs around $300–400.8 That’s a small price to pay compared to losing a deal or getting sued for failing to disclose a serious defect.

The inspector will tell you what’s wrong with your house—including some stuff you may not have even known about—so you can put it in the disclosure. Plus, having a professional inspection done proves you have nothing to hide, which could help you sell your home faster.

And again, talk to your real estate agent. They can help you find an inspector, and they’ll be able to help you market your home’s best features, even if you have to disclose some stuff that isn’t so great.

4. Get Cost Estimates for Potential Repairs

Once you know the ins and outs of what’s wrong with your house, you can find out what it’d cost to fix it. Now, of course you don’t have to fix anything. But if you get accurate cost estimates from local contractors, you’ll have more negotiating power if buyers try to lowball you on price.

On the other hand, you might find that some repair costs actually do fit within your budget. And if you make the repairs, you’ll have a better chance of earning more money at the closing table. So make a list of what work needs to be done and get busy gathering cost estimates for each one.

Here are some average costs of common home remodeling projects:

Project

Job Cost

Living room or bedroom

$1,500–5,500

HVAC

$500–7,200

Roof

$5,500–10,500

House exterior

$5,000–15,000

Basement

$11,000–30,000

Bathroom

$6,000–35,000

Kitchen

$4,500–50,0009

5. Set a Realistic Price

Okay, setting a price is about more than just knowing what your home needs. It’s also about knowing what your home already has going for it!

To make sure potential buyers aren’t just staring at a bunch of defects when they see your listing, you’ll want the help of an expert real estate agent. They’ll help you set an honest price for your home, based on both its good and bad features. That way you don’t have to worry about scaring off buyers or not earning your fair share of the deal.

Talk to Someone About Selling Your House As Is

Whether you’ve already made up your mind or you’re just thinking about selling your home as is, your first step is to talk to a real estate agent.

For a quick and easy way to find a top-performing agent in your area, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. These agents are the best in the business, and they’re on a mission to serve people with excellence—not just fish for a big commission check. In fact, we call them RamseyTrusted because we trust them to put your needs first. Period.

Find a RamseyTrusted real estate agent!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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