A neglected, rundown house is often a prime candidate for an as-is sale. It might simply be considered a “fixer-upper” or it could have serious damage or structural problems. When repairs and updates will cost more than an owner can afford—and more than they will fetch in the sale price—they may choose to cut their losses and get what they can for the house.
When selling a home in the usual way, there are several things that need to be in good shape before putting the house on the market. These include things like the electrical wiring, plumbing, HVAC, the roof, and the basement. A buyer will often insist on these essential things being fixed as part of the negotiations. Other things like new appliances and cosmetic updates might be done in order to increase the asking price.
Selling as-is gives the owner the ability to walk away from fixing just about anything that is wrong with the home. That does not mean that the buyer does not have some legal rights. A seller must still disclose known problems with the property such as structural and foundation issues, mold, termites, or high radon levels.
Once disclosed, problems with the house can affect the offering price. And a buyer can insist that a sale be contingent upon an inspection. But buyers considering a house that is offered as-is are usually looking for a bargain. They know going into the deal that the responsibility for fixing the house will be theirs. They may negotiate on some matters, but in general, will be more accepting of a home’s flaws than a typical homebuyer.
It’s important to note that some sellers will request “cash offers only,” especially if there are enough problems with the house to possibly prevent buyers from qualifying for a home loan.