The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Talk to Sellers About Listing Their Home 'As Is'

As a Realtor, you know some buyers just don’t want to deal with the hassle and investment of fixing up their home to sell. They either don’t have the time or money to invest in sprucing up their listing before putting it on their market. If your buyer wants to list their home ‘as is,’ it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re aware of everything that comes along with that.

Who Will Buy an ‘As Is’ Home?

Selling a home ‘as is’ can be difficult and usually comes with a distinct set of buyers: often investors, bargain hunters, and companies that specialize in buying homes. While this type of home will probably weed out anyone who isn’t interested in a fixer-upper, this can result in a smaller subset of buyers to check out the listing. Make sure your seller is aware of this before putting their home on the market.

How Should the Seller Price Their Home?

It’s important to make your client aware that the listing should be clear that it’s ‘as is,’ and the pricing should reflect that. Any major repairs that are necessary, like the roof, driveway, or a necessary kitchen update, should be reflected in the asking price. A buyer will likely need to put a lot of effort into making the home their own and bringing it up to current standards, so a lower price is necessary to attract interest.

What Is the Seller Required to Disclose?

While selling a home doesn’t relieve your seller from all obligations, Massachusetts is a “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware,” state, which means they don’t have to disclose too much. The buyer is required to ask the seller questions or to get an inspection to determine the condition of the home. According to Massachusetts law, home sellers need to disclose if the home has lead paint or if there’s a septic system. Other than those two items, it’s up to the seller to volunteer any information or for the buyer to ask specific questions to the seller (or to the Realtor) about the home. For any questions asked by the prospective buyer, the seller is required to disclose the truth, up to the facts that a reasonable person would need in a decision to purchase a home.

How Can You Make the Process Easy?

As the Realtor, it’s your job to help make the sale as seamless as possible. Make sure you’re aware of any potential issues to be able to field questions, help your seller price the home correctly, and be prepared for the home inspection. By prepping to put an ‘as is’ home on the market, you can meet your seller’s expectations and help guide them toward a quick and a successful sale.

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