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How Much Do You Lose Selling a House As Is? Learn the Risks and Best Options

An illustration of a seesaw with a house on one side and coins on the other to show how much money you lose selling a house
as is.

How Much Do You Lose Selling a House As Is? | Pros and Cons of Selling a House As Is | What Does It Mean to Sell Your House As Is? | Options for Selling As Is | Which Factors Affect How Much You Lose Selling As Is? | How to Sell a House As Is | Alternatives

🤔 How much do you lose selling a house as is?
Selling a home as is may be necessary under some circumstances. But it can result in losing out on as much as 30% of your home’s fair market value compared to what you could earn by selling a home in move-in condition.
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If you decide to sell a house as is, you may have to accept a lower sale price.

That’s because buyers who purchase homes as is waive the opportunity to request repairs. Instead, they’ll assume the full cost of renovations once they own the home.

Most investors pay no more than 70% of a home’s potential market value. Your specific sale price will depend on factors like your home’s condition and location, your selling timeline, and the level of competition among prospective buyers.

Why Sell a House As Is?

Pros

  • Selling as is may be less stressful than preparing a home for sale.
  • You don’t need to pay for major repairs.
  • There’s less back and forth on contract negotiations.
  • You can sell your home faster.

Cons

  • You’ll likely sell at a much lower price.
  • The buyer may walk away if there are undisclosed material issues.
  • There may be a perception of issues with the home.
  • If you sell to an investor, you’ll be in charge of verifying the buyer’s reputation and proof of funds.

An as-is sale usually isn’t right for you if your priority is a high sale price. But it can work in other scenarios, like if you need to relocate for work or you don’t have the time or money to make repairs.

Selling as is may also be worthwhile if you don’t want to go through the usual process of selling a home — which can include disruptive showings, lengthy negotiations, and deal-breaking contingencies.

However, if you have the time and energy, you probably want to list traditionally to maximize your profit.

To fully explore your options, consider trying a free service like Clever Offers. With Clever, you can compare up to 10 competing cash offers from trusted investors within its network.

You can also request a free home valuation to see how much you might sell for on the open market with or without repairs. That way, you can make an informed decision about selling as is.

Compare fair cash offers against the sale price you’d get with an agent — no added fees or commissions

What Does It Mean to Sell Your House As Is?

Selling your house as is means the buyer purchases the home without any repairs or credits toward repairs.

If your home is in good condition and in a good location, you may be able to sell close to fair market value. Try to get broad exposure to drum up interest, and don’t limit yourself to just cash buyers.

“The property should definitely go on the MLS and be made widely available,” suggests Cynthia Cummins, a founder and realtor at Kindred SF Homes. “Cast a wide net for the best offer.”

If your place needs significant work, your buyer pool will likely be limited to investors or developers. You can find these types of buyers by contacting a traditional or low-commission real estate brokerage, a “we buy houses” company, or a cash offer network like Clever Offers.

You’ll want to be upfront that you’re selling without making repairs and prepared to accept a lower sale price. A real estate agent can help you draft your listing with the appropriate as-is language.

Selling as is can reduce negotiations and speed up the closing process. However, the buyer can still schedule an inspection during the due diligence period — provided it’s included in the contract. If an undisclosed material issue is revealed during the inspection, you won’t have to make any concessions based on the inspector’s finding, but the buyer may use it to get out of the deal.

What Are Your Options for Selling a House As Is?

While most buyers may prefer move-in ready homes, homes that are sold as is can still attract the attention of a variety of buyers. These buyers can include DIYers eager to find a good deal and house flippers willing to buy homes in nearly any condition.

If you set realistic expectations about the potential trade-offs, you’ll have plenty of options for selling as is.

Sell directly to a cash home buyer

Selling your home for cash can significantly speed up the home-selling process, especially the closing. But be prepared to sell below market value, especially if your home needs significant repairs.

Cash home buyers include “we buy houses” companies, private investors, and iBuyers. You can connect with these buyers directly, through an auction site, or through a cash offer network like Clever Offers.

Regardless of your home’s condition, you’ll want to take steps to ensure you sell for a reasonable price and complete all required steps.

  • Determine your home’s value.
  • Vet cash buyers to ensure they aren’t scammers.
  • Be prepared for buyers to request a home inspection.
  • Determine if you need an attorney or real estate professional to assist with title and closing.

👋 The best companies that buy houses for cash

List on the MLS with an agent

Listing on the multiple listing service (MLS) with an agent can get your property more exposure, which can lead to more interest, more offers, and more money compared to selling directly to a cash home buyer. However, this process may take longer. 

You’ll want to do the following when listing on the MLS with an agent:

  • Research local agents to find one that understands your market and has the experience and time to assist you.
  • Talk with your agent about how to list your home so it’s clear it’s for sale as is.
  • Consult with your agent about a good listing price, keeping in mind any repairs that the buyer will have to do.
  • Talk with your agent about whether you should conduct a home inspection so you understand the extent of needed repairs. This can help you avoid any surprises once you have a buyer.
  • Disclose all known defects when you have an offer. Your agent can help you know what you’re required to disclose in your area.
  • Be prepared for buyers to ask for a home inspection.
  • Be prepared for a home appraisal. If a buyer is getting a mortgage, their lender may want an appraisal to ensure the home isn’t worth less than what the buyer is paying.
🚨 Expert tip: States that don’t require disclosure are known as caveat emptor states, which is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. In caveat emptor states, sellers don’t have a duty to disclose issues with the house as part of the sale.

“Selling your home on the market is always going to net the most money,” says Suzanne Seini, the CEO and owner of Innovate Realty in Irvine, California.

👋 Meet the best real estate agents near you!

How Much Do You Lose Selling a House As Is?

The biggest downside to selling your house as is is that you may have to accept a lower sale price. How much you could lose varies, but it could be significant.

Buyers looking for a deal in a hot market may pay close to fair market value or even a little more, depending on the condition of your home. “In 2021 it was a seller’s market,” says Suzanne Seini. “Sellers could list anything and it would sell quickly at a good price, regardless of condition.”

But you could sell for a lot less than market value if you sell an as-is home in poor condition, in a less desirable area, or in a buyer’s market. In these cases, selling as is may limit your buyer pool to bargain hunters or investors who want to flip the property.

Even if your listing price factors in the condition of the property, buyers will likely consider the cost of necessary repairs when making an offer.

“Most investors won’t pay more than 70% of a home’s after-repair value,” says Alex Locklear, a realtor and the founder of NC Cash Homebuyers. “They need to take into account the costs of repairs and renovations as well as their desired profit margin.”

A realtor can tell you what your home may sell for as is, taking into account any necessary repairs. They can also tell you which improvements will make the biggest impact and help reduce loss in profit.

Which Factors Affect How Much You Lose Selling As Is?

“The profitability of selling as is is really a case-by-case scenario,” says Elisha Lopez, a licensed broker and owner of Ocala Realty World in Central Florida. 

“It depends on the inventory and demand in a particular area. A seller’s best bet is to have an experienced listing agent vet their situation based on their unique needs to determine the best strategy for putting their home on the market.”

Here are some factors that may influence the outcome when selling a house as is:

Type of buyer

Investors and house flippers look for deals that allow them to turn a profit. They’re more willing than most buyers to purchase homes in as-is condition. But they’ll factor the costs of any updates — as well as their need to make a profit — into their offers.

While many regular buyers want a move-in-ready home, some may consider properties that need some work — especially if the home is in a high-demand area. You may be able to negotiate more in these situations.

Try to cast a wide net so you don’t limit your buyer pool.

Condition of the home

A home in decent condition is always going to sell for more than a home needing major repairs.

Many buyers — including investors and flippers — avoid homes with major structural issues, like a faulty foundation or severely outdated electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems.

In these situations, Andrew Lokenauth, founder of TheFinanceNewsletter.com, suggests sellers try listing on the open market and get inspections and estimates on repair costs for full transparency. 

However, “no matter how bad the home is, there is always a price point where a real estate investor will buy it,” says Matthew Coan of Cash Savvy Home Buyers. “If a seller can’t find any investors to buy their property, then they need to lower their asking price.”

Improvements and updates

When selling as is, even small repairs and updates can make a big impact — especially if you list on the MLS. 

“You’re selling the dream of a home,” reminds Cynthia Cummins, founder and realtor at Kindred SF Homes. “If your target audience are end users who’re in the mood for a project, it’s a good idea to do some refreshing — emphasize the cosmetic with paint, floors, lighting, and staging.”

Location

A home in a desirable neighborhood (with good schools, shops, hospitals, and so on) generally sells for more than one in a less desirable area, even when the home needs repairs. This is true whether you sell to an investor or look for a buyer on the open market.

“I seek properties in areas with strong market demand and growth potential,” says investor Chris McGuire. This includes areas with “a thriving business district, reputable schools, and recreational amenities.” 

On the other hand, says McGuire, “properties located in declining neighborhoods or areas with little market demand may not offer a favorable return on investment, so I also tend to avoid those.”

Local market conditions

In a hot housing market, you might sell your house as is for a higher price. That’s because more competition in the local real estate market generally leads to better offers.

“While the 70% rule used to be a handy guideline, it’s worth noting that the dynamics have shifted in recent years,” advises investor Brett Johnson of Cash For House Pro. He notes that in a high-demand area like Denver, investors generally purchase properties at around 72% of their expected after-repair value.

Your choice of real estate agent 

Working with an experienced real estate agent can help you get the best price possible when selling your house as is. If you find a realtor with a lower commission rate, you can also recover some of the money you may lose by selling as is.

How to Sell a House As Is

1. Explore your options. Selling a home as is could mean listing it on the MLS or selling directly to a cash buyer. Your best option may depend on the market.

“If there is low inventory and high demand in your area, you’re going to be able to sell your home as is,” says realtor Elisha Lopez. “If there’s an excess of inventory, though, the seller may need to make repairs to encourage buyers to put an offer in on their home.” However, “sometimes repairs are so expensive that it doesn’t make sense to do them,” says Lopez. In that case, you may be better off selling as is to an investor.

2. Get an accurate estimate of your home’s value. Your best defense against lowball offers is to know your home’s value, both with and without repairs. Work with an experienced real estate agent to identify issues, get their recommendations on how to market the home, and set a realistic asking price to avoid leaving money on the table.

3. Make only necessary repairs. Addressing safety issues or code violations can make your as-is listing more appealing to potential buyers, especially since major issues like foundation damage or faulty systems can disqualify buyers from some loans.

However, you may want to avoid doing much more. “I think the only repairs that should be made are ones that are required by law, or which create a poor first impression,” says realtor Cynthia Cummins. “Otherwise, it’s better to simply disclose any defects and emphasize the cosmetic with paint, floors, lighting, and staging.”

4. Clean and declutter. Making small cosmetic updates can help you sell faster and for a higher price.

“We recently helped a seller who had been on the market for two months with no offers,” recalls realtor Suzanne Seini. “We pulled the home off the market, updated the flooring and paint and added new staging.” Once relisted, the home sold in less than 30 days — for more than the asking price. “Sometimes paying slightly more in the beginning will lead to a significant payout in the long run,” says Seini. 

5. Be upfront about the condition of your home. The term “as is” covers a variety of situations — from a home in need of only cosmetic updates to a complete fixer-upper.

“In the case of a floor-to-ceiling rehab,” says realtor Elisha Lopez, “the home would not qualify for standard financing and would only be available to cash buyers.” She advises that “the best route for a seller is to clarify what ‘as is’ means so they attract the right buyers.”

6. Cast a wide net for buyers. Exposing your home to a large pool of buyers gives you the best chance of getting a good price on your home.

If you’re on a tight timeline and need to sell now, seek offers from multiple cash buyers and iBuyers — either on your own or through a free service like Clever Offers. If you have time to list on the MLS, consider hiring a good low commission realtor to ease the financial consequences of selling as is.

Get competing offers from iBuyers, investors, and realtors — for no added fees or commissions

Should I Sell My House As Is or Fix It Up?

Selling your house as is might be better if you have limited time to sell, don’t have the budget to make big repairs, and don’t mind sacrificing a percentage of your listing price. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fix up the house a bit before selling as is.

If you have the time and resources, these repairs are usually worth making to earn the most money from your as-is home sale.

  • Address any health or safety hazards, like repairing broken stairs, fixing a leaky roof, or dealing with mold or asbestos.
  • Take care of code violations, like getting a permit for a deck you built or fixing violations cited in a previous inspection.
  • Repair structural problems, like a cracked foundation or termite damage. These repairs can be expensive, so potential buyers may be hesitant to purchase a home with significant structural issues.
  • Spruce up your home’s curb appeal, like power washing the siding, planting flowers, and mowing the lawn.

If you decide to fix up your home instead of selling as is, you’ll want to understand your target audience so you can prioritize what updates to complete (and what to leave). 

For example, Cynthia Cummins worked with a client whose home was in a prime neighborhood in San Francisco, but it hadn’t been updated in quite some time. Other realtors suggested the owner sell the home as is, but Cummins saw its potential as a dream house for the right buyer. 

“We focused on making basic repairs, painting everything, and staging — all for about $75,000,” says Cummins. The home ended up selling for $500,000 more than the list price other realtors had suggested. 

If you want to fix up your home but aren’t sure what to focus on, a realtor can help. They often know what types of upgrades buyers in your market are looking for.

👋 Meet the best real estate agents near you!

Alternatives to Selling a House As Is

If you’re not sure whether to sell your house as is, consider these alternatives:

  • Fix up the home before listing it. If you have the time and money to make repairs or updates, you may be able to sell your home for a higher price than if you listed it as is.
  • Rent out the home. This option might work if you live in a strong rental market and don’t need cash for a down payment on another home.

No matter what you choose, a real estate agent can simplify the selling process and figure out what repairs you need to fix — and what you can leave — before listing your house on the market. Connect with an agent who can save you thousands in listing fees!

Frequently Asked Questions about Selling a House As Is

Is Selling Your House As Is a Good Idea?

Selling your house as is might make it sell a little faster, but it could also mean losing as much as 30% of your home equity and potentially making buyers think that there’s something wrong with the house. Look into the downsides of selling your house as is.

Is It Better to Fix Your House Up or Sell As Is?

It might be better to sell your house as is if your home needs significant repairs that you can’t afford or can’t do yourself within the window of time you have to sell your house. Otherwise, it’s definitely worth doing some repairs to raise the value of your home before selling. Learn more about selling your house as is.

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