Should you consider an as-is property?

As-is properties are uncommon in today’s real estate market, but not unheard of. Although too many “as-is” might as well be written “run away” to a savvy buyer, an as-is sale might be a fantastic opportunity.

As-is sales usually mean that the seller isn’t willing to take on any additional upgrades or repairs—what you see is what you get. This is often reflected in the price—as-is properties are priced to sell and sell fast.

Of course, the first assumption is that the property is run down and needs some major repairs. This may well be true some of the time, but not always. It rather may reflect the status of the seller. The home may actually be in decent shape, but the seller isn’t able to undertake repairs for personal reasons. The seller may be elderly and not capable of the repairs, for example, or perhaps the seller has already been transferred to a new job and can’t undertake any additional projects from a distance. There are many reasons why a seller may choose this unconventional option.

If you have additional cash available for repairs and have a home inspector and/or a contractor you trust, this could be the deal you’re looking for. If you shy away from repairs or expect to bargain based on defects revealed in an inspection, this may not be the best option for you.

Note that in some areas, as-is has restrictions. Most municipalities require working smoke alarms and utilities before allowing a building to be sold. This varies from city to city, so it’s important to have your agent check for you.

When an as-is property appears on your search, it might be worth consideration. Sometimes “as-is” might actually read “buy me”!