Client Question – What Does Sold “As-Is” Mean?

It is not uncommon to see homes being sold in “As-is” condition.  It most commonly seen when buying a bank-owned (REO) or estate sale home.  When a home is listed as being sold in “as-is” condition, the sellers are stating that they are not willing to do any repairs to the home.

Take this house for example:

As-Is Home

This cute West Seattle house just came on the market for $191,100. It is a HUD home (bank owned) and is being sold as-is.  If one of my clients were interested in this home, I would give them a little different counseling than I would give a buyer buying a home not is “as-is” condition.   When buying a home that the seller clearly states that they will make no representations about the quality of the home and make no repairs to the home, it is more important than ever to get a thorough home inspection.  A good home inspector can highlight areas in the home that are in disrepair or have not had the proper preventative maintenance.  Once you have the inspection, you will know what needed repairs are and can then decide if you still want to go through with the purchase of the home.

As I have experienced with my two recent clients that have bought “as-is” homes, you need to carefully decide what your offer price will be.  Sellers for as-is homes not only refuse to do any repairs, but they also expect the original offer price to reflect the needed work.  Another way to say that would be that the seller is not often willing to reduce the price of the house after inspection.  So when buying an as-is home, I always suggest a pre-inspection when possible.

In the end, an “as-is” home can be a good buy.  Have a good understanding of the scope of repairs needed and buy the home for a price that reflects the needed repairs.  For those that aren’t afraid of a little work, sometimes as-is is the best deal in town.