No Free Lunch

Selling “As Is” is a popular choice for banks, estates and other third parties who don’t know the condition of a property (because they haven’t lived in it), and don’t want to be responsible for any repairs.

Occasionally, however, “owner-occupant” sellers — especially ones with deferred maintenance — view selling “as is” as a panacea for making costly repairs.

Yes and no.

Yes, in the sense that they can certainly avoid having to do the repairs themselves.

No, in the sense that they’ll pay a steep price for having the Buyer assume responsibility for whatever needs to be fixed.

No Shortcuts

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that selling “as is” avoids a Buyer’s inspection.


Buyers who agree to buy “as is” still want to know what they’re buying, which typically means doing a very thorough inspection.

The second misconception is that selling “as is” will net sellers more money.

Wrong again.

For every $1 in repairs that Buyers assume, they’ll typically deduct $2 or even $3 from their offering price.

That’s not just because of the time and inconvenience, but to cover the risk that the necessary repairs will be more extensive than appears. In fact, especially when the issue involves (hidden) plumbing, wiring, and any related contractor permits, such “padding” is often warranted.

To avoid such “3-for-1” discounts, Sellers — at least ones who can afford to — are often well-advised to tackle the repairs themselves.

P.S.: I remember taking a class in college “pass/fail,” only to find out that my grade would have been a “B+.” Selling a home in good condition “as is” is like that.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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