Usually when you sell a house as-is it’s because the house needs work, and you’d rather not waste time and money making costly repairs. Perhaps you prefer a quick and easy sale rather than managing costly renovations and dragging the process out for months. Selling property in Kentucky “as-is” is legal, but it’s important to know the required legal disclosures.
Below we’ll walk through everything you need to consider if you choose to sell your Kentucky house as-is.
“Sell Your House As-Is” Meaning:
Here’s the formal definition:
Selling “as-is” means selling the house in its present condition or as it exists immediately prior to closing, even if there is property damage or defects, without the seller making or paying for modifications or repairs.
It seems pretty straightforward, but there are many misconceptions (even real estate professionals misconstrue this).
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The misconceptions arise from the knowing what “as-is” does and does not allow. Just because you sell your house as-is does not mean that there will not be a property visit, inspections, or potential price re-negotiations. We’ll examine each and highlight how each can impact an “as is” property sale.
Selling Site Unseen
Selling your house site unseen means that they buyers are unable to enter the premises and do inspections. This is easier on the seller, but it can have an adverse effect. The buyer is unable to do inspections, get a real sense of the condition of the house and complete repair estimates.
Ultimately, this means that a buyer is taking a chance on the property. Usually, a house sold site unseen (like an auction) is not in great shape. A house in perfect shape will be listed with a realtor at a top dollar price. Buyers know that a house is not be in good shape if it is sold “site unseen.” In order to hedge against a bad deal, buyers will just make incredibly low ball offers. Cash buyers didn’t become cash buyers by being loose with their money. They’re frugal and hedge against risk.
Due to these reasons, “site unseen” sales do not occur often because offers are dramatically lower than if you were to show the property. The risk is too high for buyers to pay more than a nominal amount when the house could be destroyed on the inside.
Typically, a sale of this kind occurs due to a hostile tenant or occupant, dangerous or hazardous conditions, or the owner has no access.
Property owners often misconstrue an “as-is” sale to mean that buyers are not permitted to cancel the contract due to an inspection. On the contrary, almost all contracts will include an inspection contingency. Again, real estate investors only become cash buyers by being good stewards of their funds. The avoid risk and hedge against it.
This is where many confuse “as-is” sales and believe the buyer has no alternative if an agreement is made. In actuality, after an agreement is made, if there is an inspection contingency, this allows the buyer to cancel the purchase due to the property condition during the inspection period (Typically, anywhere from 10-15 days).
The inspection contingency contract clause allows the buyer time to “inspect” the premises. The buyer may cancel during this period without violating the contract.
So why would a seller allow the buyer an inspection period clause? Although, counter intuitive, buyers will make a more fair (higher) offer, if you give them more time to runs comps, analyze the market and create an actual repair estimate for the house. This allows the buyer to have more confidence in purchasing the property and provide you with a better offer.
When you sell your house as-is and have a contract, you’re halfway there. The buyer will still do inspections and gather repair estimates. Whatever the buyer finds during the inspection period will affect the end result.
The buyer will do three things:
- Cancel the contract
- Close at the agreed upon price
- Re-negotiate for a lower price and/or better terms
If your buyer tries to renegotiate a lower price point, you should examine their reason for the price reduction.
Of course, it is understood that buying something for less is always a better deal than paying more. However, it might actually make sense to reduce the price due to a significant amount of problems that are uncovered from inspections. If there are unforeseen repairs needed, the buyer has a valid reason to re-negotiate.
On the other hand, not all price negotiations are made with credibility. Some “cash for houses” companies will attract you with a high initial offer to garnish your trust and sign a contract with them. After you sign a contract, they’ll do inspections and drag out the process. They’ll then inform you that there are many more repairs needed and they’ll significantly decrease your offer. Sellers anxious to make a sale go through are either forced to accept the new offer, or start the process all over from the beginning.
Don’t let illegitimate “cash for houses” companies waste your time and your money!
Legal Disclosures Of Selling A House In Need Of Repairs
Just think how much more we could sell for if the buyer doesn’t know about that sink hole on the corner of the lot. The basement flooded 6 months ago, but we repainted, so it should be fine. The HVAC system is on the fritz, but it’s fine.”
We all, (selfishly) want to sell our property for the highest amount possible. No one wants to decrease the price their house sells for by pointing out all of the deficiencies of home.
There are disclosure laws for each and every state. Kentucky is no different, and has certain disclosure laws required by property sellers. You have to disclose certain elements of your house in good faith. Kentucky Revised Statutes 324.360 requires that sellers of single-family residential properties make certain disclosures to a potential buyer. This law applies regardless of whether a licensed salesperson or broker is involved in the transaction.
Selling “as-is” does not allow the seller to withhold information or deliberately conceal major defects. You have a legal obligation to disclose potential problems to a buyer.
Failure to disclose significant property defects can result in monetary penalties and cause you to be responsible for undisclosed damages.
The best way to avoid this and ensure you’re covered is to disclose a material defect in writing. Kentucky’s disclosure forms will have you answer a series of questions involving structures, systems, appliances, pests, drainage, flooding, plumbing, pools, and sink holes.
The bottom line here is to be honest. Do your best to disclose anything that would cause the buyer significant problems in the future. Honesty is the best policy. If you’re upfront, and the buyer still purchases your property, and down the road there are issues, you will be fine.
So Why Sell As-Is?
- Fast Sale – Fast Cash
- Save Money On Repairs
- Avoid Stress & Uncertainty
- Work With Experienced Cash Home Buyers
- Smaller Sale Proceeds
- Limits Your Buyer Pool
- Can Lengthen The Time On Market If Priced Too High
Qualify Your Buyer
Reasons “as-is” sales fall through:
Lender Doesn’t Approve: Banks won’t lend on houses that need too much work. If the inspection reveals significant defects the bank will not approve the mortgage.
Low Appraisal: Houses in disrepair get a lower appraisal price than comps in better condition. Buyers cancel when appraisal comes in lower than the amount specified in the appraisal contingency.
Costly Renovations: Making offers is an inexact science. Thoroughly inspecting a house can take days or even weeks depending on level of rehab. High costs that surpassed the buyers initial “ball park” estimate will lead to cancellation or re-negotiating price.
Renovation Time: Renovating a house is no small task. A full home rehab can take 3-6 months. Some houses are not even worth saving and you find out you’ve got a tear-down house.
Consider, working with a cash buyer before accepting offers from other that need to line up financing from others. This can save you stress, frustration, money and time.
Now That You’re An Expert, You Ask…
Should I Sell My House As-Is or Make Repairs?
You know the pros and cons associated with selling your house as-is. You know what type of buyers to avoid. Should you make repairs or just sell it as is?
Do You Have Cash or Credit Available To Make The Required Repairs?
Any renovation is going to require money. You’ll need to purchase supplies and make countless trips to your hardware store for more supplies and things you forgot on the previous trips. Renovations start with demolition.During the demo, you’ll usually uncover more problems than initially thought. Very quickly your supply costs grow along with the scope of work. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend time, money and create a larger problem. If you’re not ready for this roller coaster ride, you don’t have to get on it.
Do You Have The Knowledge and Capability of Completing the Repairs?
After you determine repairs to be made you’ll need to create a plan and scope of work. Some repairs are easy. Most are capable enough to paint and install new hardware. Fixing small accent pieces is very easy. However, if you’re considering selling your house as-is, it most likely that you have more than small accent pieces that need fixed. More likely, the home needs a significant amount of work to get it, move-in ready. This is where you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Do you truly have the knowledge, capability and determination to complete the renovations yourself? If you’re on the fence for any of those three factors – do not get started!
When you renovate a house, each item renovated does not always add value to the home. Just because you redo a kitchen/bathroom does not mean that the buyer will share your taste and see the same value as you. They may hate the finishes and consider a gut job of your work to get the room the way they want it. You need to do research and be an expert to know what home buyers are looking for today. Home flipping companies do this for a living and they must do a good job on renovations or they will go out of business. They know what home buyers want and create that. If you’re unsure, you could end up wasting your time and money without increasing your sale price.
Do You Have The Energy And Time To Complete The Renovations?
Property renovations are not for the faint of heart. It takes lots of energy and time, channeled in the correct ways to achieve a successful outcome. It’s not easy. If it was, everyone would do it.
First, house renovating is a very physical job. There are very few things to do that are not physically demanding. You’re on your feet, bending, twisting, lifting things. It’s basically a construction job. Unless you enjoy physical labor this can be a slap in the face for newbies.
On top of the physicality that comes along with home renovations, it requires a large time investment. You paint, then wait. You glue, then wait. You order parts and materials, then wait. Professional flippers, that work full-time, with large teams, take 30-90 days to complete a home renovation. They push as hard as they can to finish quicker, but it still takes months. If you’re doing this in your spare time, it will take a considerable amount of time – much more than a full-timer. If you have the patience, energy and time to conduct and mange renovations, then by all means, get started! It won’t be easy, but it can be enjoyable to some.
There it is! A straightforward answer
Now you’re truly an expert and you’ve considered all the factors involved. It’s your property, so the choice is wholeheartedly yours. If you’re still on the fence, consider getting a cash offer from a professional house buyer, and then make a decision.
We buy houses in Kentucky every month and we pay cash. We buy houses in their as-is condition. You make no repairs, pay no agent fees and we pay closing costs. Even if you choose to make your own renovations, we’re happy to provide guidance – give us a call today (502) 509 - 5676