Sellers are trying to deal with a Buyer’s market and maintaining their investments, so here is some advice for the seller.
An acquaintance of mine came to me with a situation which could prove useful for sellers to read about. He is renting a home from a woman who recently died. The family now wants to sell the house, so they are giving him the first option. However, they wish to sell it at market price with no concessions to repair the condition of the home. Many sellers are taking this course. In this instance, the family may not really know the condition of the home, since they have not been involved with it. I find that many sellers are not aware of some home problems, so as is can be a real problem in the contract negotiations for sale.
In the case of this home, I noticed right away that the home had foundation problems. One walk around the roof had shown that it needed to be replaced. Once in the attic, I saw that the framing was in bad shape leading to the sag in the roof. There were other issues, but these three concerns could be in the $20,000 range for repairs. Most homes being sold at market price would not have such major issues. I do not like quoting the repair cost in my reports, because I believe that they can be misleading, but in this situation, I told the renter that he should consider these costs. Any buyer in any market could have a home inspection, so a seller would have to deal with these factors with those buyers.
If you want to sell “as is”, and you do know the condition of the home, you could have a quick simple sale when you take a few steps. You may want a home inspection of your own, and then provide it to a potential buyer. At least take a close look at what may need to be repaired, and then determine the costs. Once you have an estimate of the costs, include the major repairs into the price reduction from market value. You may want to produce a sheet showing what homes are selling for, and how much a major repair would cost, and then what your offer will be. Give yourself a little room to negotiate. If repairs will be $5000, maybe consider reducing the price by $2500. Then if you have to go down, you have some room. The best strategy here is to discuss this with your Realtor.
It will be difficult for you to sell a home without letting a buyer inspect it by some means. If you refuse to allow an inspection, you do send up a red flag in the buyer’s mind. If you are firm with the “as is” price, you will have trouble too. You may find a buyer; however, if they discover that you knew of a problem, and did not disclose it, you could be held liable. Knowledge of your home and proper pricing are the way to handle a quick sale. Sellers should listen to their Realtor’s advice on how to best handle a quick sale. If you are not using a Realtor, look closely at what might be a potential expense for the buyer, what the homes in your area are selling, and then give yourself the wiggle room to go down.
Note: Below is a post that had a bit more detail on the same subject, so I am including it here, because it adds one bit of information about your contract.
I have been in many situations where the seller hated my performing a home inspection. There is a belief that we are going to force the seller to loose money. It is a strong impression that can be hard to overcome. I have been hired by sellers who do not want to make more repairs than necessary, and they want their Realtor to enforce the “as is” aspect of the sale. Some sellers go to the extent that they want the sales contract amended to state that fact.
Paragraph 7D (1) states that the “buyer accepts the property in its present condition”. This sounds pretty much like stating “as is”. However, other parts of the contract allow for home inspections and the right of termination. To truly enforce buying a home with no other requirements, a seller would have to prevent termination because of a finding by the buyer. The seller now has opened himself up to a great liability. The seller has to state the condition of the property on the seller disclosure form. If you fail to mention something, and the buyers are not allowed to find out the truth before purchase, you have a situation which sounds quite a bit like the lemon laws concerning car sales. The buyer could come back to argue that the seller did not permit discovery of issues since they knew of the problem.
As a seller, you have to be willing to work with the buyer. You can state that you believe the price is fair for the condition of the home, so you will not consider lowering the price to deal with found issues. Allow the buyer to inspect, so they know what they are buying. If the buyer is willing to accept these terms, then you have the deal that you want, while not facing possible a lawsuit.