What Does Selling a Home “As Is” Mean in Florida?

When selling a home, you should be able to understand the terms and conditions of what you are getting into especially when it comes to the responsibilities and liabilities that come into play after signing that contract to sell.

More often than not, sellers want their home to be bought “as is”. But what does this mean for you as the seller? Can you just cut and run after the contract has been finalized and all the T’s and I’s have been crossed and dotted? Well, let’s answer those questions one by one.

What does it mean when I want to sell my home on an “as is” basis?

When purchasing a real estate property, there are often terms that seem strange when first heard. When you say you want to sell a home “as is” – that means you will not do any pre-sale renovations and repairs, cosmetics, or otherwise. And the buyer has to agree to purchase your home at the agreed price in its current state with all the amenities, advantages, and damages, and flaws. 

However, this doesn’t mean that the seller has it easy. To have transparency and agreement in good faith, the homebuyer would need to know everything flawed in the property described specifically in the contract. This is called a seller’s disclosure where the seller acknowledges all the known faults of the house so that anyone who would like to purchase the property would have ample knowledge on the amount they would have to put in for the repairs and renovations as well as they’re appropriate bid price.

You are also legally bound to answer all the questions of prospective buyers truthfully about the property. All these legal and good faith obligations are universal to every state including Florida.

Is it Worth Selling My House “As Is”?

That depends. You have to understand that every decision has its advantages and drawbacks. It all comes down to what you think weighs more for you. The benefits or the catches?

What Can Selling Your Property “As Is” Benefit You?

Less stress, Hassle-Free

This is one of the best advantages of selling a home “as is”. You won’t have to worry about anything. You can opt to sell it with all your furniture or give it to the buyer bare. Another advantage is, you won’t have to give so much effort, money, and time to stage it. The cost of staging your home to give potential homebuyers a feel of how your home can range from $500 to $2,000 a month. And that’s if your house is purchased within a month. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You would have to deal with all the things that are wrong in your house and continually make repairs and a possible renovation if you want to sell it at top dollar. 

Save Money on Repairs

Of course, when you let the new owners do the fixing, you would have more cash to spend on some other essential things that need priority in your life. It’s just not all about the repairs themselves though. It would be awesome if the damages were just a piece of corroded pipe or a small leak in the roof.  But more often than not, repairs in homes that have not been maintained for 5 to 10 years can have all sorts of problems that a simple quick fix will not be enough. You would have to hire a contractor to do that for you. And you know that costs a lot of money.

It Attracts Cash Buyers

Another pro in selling your house “as is” is having buyers that can pay the entire amount in cash. Your agent won’t have to go through validating the homebuyer’s financial capacity as they will be paying their dues at the onset that you have signed the contract to sell. You won’t have to think about all the paperwork that comes with when a buyer needs a mortgage. And this fast tracks the closing of the sale.

Drawbacks of Selling “As Is”

Lesser Market Value Price

Selling your property “as is” means you need to be comfortable with agreeing to a price lower than its market value. What you have to understand about selling and buying real estate properties is that their worth is judged by the square footage, number of rooms, its amenities, and aesthetics. In short, it’s all based on what the buyer gets from the property. When some of these are not met, even when you have a nice home and everything is kept well-maintained, that would have an impact on its price, one way or another.

Lesser Potential Pool of Buyers

Usually, when buyers are told that the home will be bought on an “as is” basis, it automatically draws in their minds that something must be wrong with the property. And most of them do have irreparable damages which include structural defects that have hefty price tags on them. This considerably decreases your prospect buyers. And those who have the stomach to dive into this agreement are generally investors who want to spruce up the place and sell it to other homebuyers.

Longer Wait for the Money

Since buyers are not generally attracted to “as is” properties, you might need to wait a little longer for your home to sell and get the money. In Florida, the average listing duration of a property is about 120 days. That includes the waiting time to get an offer and its closing period. When your property stays listed for more than this average time, the list price for your property slowly goes down. Another disadvantage you would have to consider.

Are There Any Required Disclosures When Selling “As Is” in Florida?

Florida’s law doesn’t indicate any specific disclosures that have to be shared with potential buyers though both the seller and the realtor have the obligation to disclose any significant details of the home that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Still, the responsibility to request an inspection of the home lies with the buyer. It should be clear to the seller and the buyer that pre-listing inspections are not required from sellers. 

How To Get a Higher List Sale If You’re Selling On An “As Is” Basis?

It’s all about timing folks. Just like any industry, list prices in real -estate fluctuates. In selling your house “as is”, you have to know when is the right time to do so unless you’re very hard at cash and you can’t wait any longer. According to Realtor.com, you need to sell your house in November to get the best list price you can get. And if you want to sell your property quicker than lighting the best time would be around March. You don’t need to target these months but be sure to get closer to it before your chance passed by.

Another way of marketing your home sale is not putting the word “as is” after the listing. Let the offers come in but of course, when a potential buyer inquires about the house, your realtor needs to specify that no repairs or renovation requests will be done. Then, it’s up to the onlookers if they would still want to pursue their interest in the property. You would still be transparent but in a way that would allow your home to be appreciated by potential buyers in the market.

How To Sell Your House Quickly “As Is” in Florida?

Selling a house on an “as is” basis in Florida is much easier than you think. You just have to be patient and follow these steps.

1. Find a Reliable Real-Estate Agent

Of course, you can’t sell your house by just the word of mouth. Plus, there would be a ton of paperwork and to-do lists when offering your home to the market. First on your list would be to find a shrewd real-estate agent. You can find them through friend recommendations which are mostly reliable but if not, try to find the best real estate agent one in your locality. It is advisable to pick one that knows your neighborhood well because the agent not only has to show the pros of buying your house to prospects but will also answer a lot of questions about the area especially when the buyer is not from your locality.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to observe the character of your agent when you inquire with him or her. You should be able to know his or her experience of selling homes on an “as is” basis, how far is his or her base – meaning does the agent have a long list of contacts. The real-estate business is more on who you know, how many, and how varied are their locations since as an agent, you would need to have a wide cast of network to get buyers and sellers. And of course, the agent has to be good at explaining and making people comfortable.

2. Avail of a Pre-listing Inspection

Pre-listing inspections are often necessary for you to have a  better judgment of what to expect in terms of the speed and price at which your property will sell. Your listing agent could give you advice on that and perhaps would even help you to sell your house faster and with a better list price if you have an open mind of his or her suggestions. Since you are selling your home “as is”, you can manage your expectations for what you can get after a professional has checked your home and lists its pros and cons. It might be a daunting idea since no one wants to know what’s wrong with your house but it’s better to have knowledge of what might be the outcome than trust in wishful thinking.

3. Consider Doing Small Repairs

Although you may have your heart set on not doing anything to your property until someone buys it, it would not hurt to do some simple fixes around the home. You would be surprised at how much the list price could increase if you do a few repairs here and there.

For instance, Florida’s climate causes moisture to seep into the walls and ceiling which can cause an abundance of mold and mildew. Ensuring that all plumbing components and pipes are working at their best will go a long way to secure the best deal without having to hear potential buyers’ complaints of the unpleasant black patches in your home. Another quick fix that you can do is make sure that all the shingles in your roof are accounted for. These simple yet very significant fixes could help you get a better price for your property.

4. Set a Competitive Price

Competitive means something that you can work with but will also be viable for your potential buyers. You won’t get anywhere selling your property at top dollar when its interior is in shambles. This is why a pre-listing inspection can be helpful. Giving you all the information you need to come up with the best list price for your home. If you are adamant not to utilize a pre-listing inspection for your home, you can start researching and checking homes that are on the list now. Compare it to your home and trust in your guts that that is the right, fair, and competitive price for your property.

5. Realistic Expectations are A Must

When selling a home, either one that is heavily renovated or “as is”, you have to hold your horses and hope for the best to happen. You don’t have control over people’s demands and preferences on what they would want to see in their future homes and more so, of the real estate market in your area. You just have to wait and see from here on out.

Selling your home “as is” in Florida means not having to deal with the nitty-gritty details of making a lot of repairs that can drown your bank account, or have to deal with the staging costs and moving somewhere close just in case this would be the day you’re going to sell your home. However, it does not come without its cons. So you have to think it through before making your final decision.