When a home is marked “as is”, it means the home seller will not take part on any renovations, will not fix any defects the home buyer might bump into. If the home buyer wants to buy the property, he’ll have to buy it the way the house currently is.
However, there is a lot of nuance to this. To sell “as is”, the home seller is obligated to make a seller’s disclosure in good faith describing all known defects of the house, so the truth is that the “as is” holds little weight, as the home buyer can still back out of the deal if the home inspection he/she orders during closing reveals fixes that are too expensive for his/her pockets. Because of that, there are home sellers who impose a no-home inspection rule, sort of like “when it’s your house you can inspect however you want it”. This is rude (not to mention idiotic) and it drives home buyers away even more than the “as is” already does. It reduces the potential buyers to people who don’t care about the dwelling because they will tear it down and build a new one altogether.
Noticed how we said “even more” when mentioning that prohibiting home inspections would drive home buyers away from the “as is” properties? Yes, truth is that “as is” properties are already overlooked by home buyers. They take the “as is” as a sign the house has major issues the home seller is hiding. Because of that, home buyers will do whatever they can to low-ball you.
Of course, this isn’t the reason why someone sells a home “as is”. Most of the times it’s a matter of either the home seller having no money to do any repairs to the home and not having the time and the will to endure a long back-and-forth negotiation of repairs because of the results of the home inspection. In fact, a home that wasn’t announced as an “as is” – it needs to be marked as one on the listing – can, sometimes, if the home buyer is making too many requests, becomes a “de facto” as is. What happens is that home buyers see the home inspection as a way to negotiate even more and lower the price by unreasonably asking the home seller to fix even stuff that poses no danger – like a dent on a door. The seller, then, gets fed up and says that he won’t make any more concessions. From that point on, the house becomes “as is”; take it or leave it. Another example of “as is” are both foreclosures - in fact, you can’t even see the house prior to making your bid - and short sales.
So, now that you know now what it means to sell a home “as is”: what are your thoughts? Would you sell a house as is? Even more important: would you buy one? Tell us in the comments!