You’re ready to sell your home, but you’re hesitating. Your home isn’t in perfect condition. Can you still sell it? The answer is yes, but here are the things you need to consider.
Should You Sell Your Home “As Is”?
There may be times when you will be forced to sell your home without doing any preparation. For example, if you don’t have the money to fix a leaky roof or make other major repairs, or if your health is failing and you can’t oversee making the repairs, you may decide to sell the house as is. Before making that decision, though, you need to understand what the term “as is” means in the state of Florida.
A common misconception is that if you sell your home as is, the buyer is accepting the home unconditionally, whether they are aware of problems with the home or not. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sellers are Required by Law to Disclose Defects
In Florida, there are disclosure laws that protect real estate buyers. Those laws require that you tell prospective buyers about any existing defects. Therefore, while you may sell your home even if it has some problems, it’s not something you can hide.
As a seller, you must disclose anything about the house that affects its value, even if those issues aren’t easily observable by a buyer. We always suggest that you make those disclosures in writing to create a record you can refer to later. If you simply discuss a problem with the buyer, you’re putting yourself at risk.
Let’s say your buyer discovers a problem after the sale is completed, and doesn’t recall that you mentioned it to them. The buyer can sue and it’s likely they’ll win. Having disclosures done in writing will protect you if things go wrong.
As Davie REALTORS®, we have an easy-to-complete disclosure form that lists the most common types of disclosures that homeowners need to make. We can work with you to determine how to disclose any issues that aren’t already listed on the form.
“As Is” Sellers are Unwilling or Unable to Fix Defects
When a home is listed as is, all that really means is that the owner will not be willing to fix any problems or defects. In a typical sale, the buyer may discover defects through the disclosure, or problems during the home inspection they ordered. In that situation, the buyer and seller will very often work together to get those issues fixed. If a home is sold as is, it indicates that the seller won’t, or isn’t able to, negotiate on making repairs.
Homes Sell More Quickly and for a Higher Sales Price if They’re Well Maintained
Any Davie REALTOR® will tell you that you’re competing with all the other homes on the market that are similar to yours. If there are well-maintained homes for sale in your area, your home won’t bring the same market price. In addition, it will take longer to find the right buyer. Buyers are often wary of a home that looks like it will need a lot of work.
The best strategy for selling your home is to prepare it for sale by fixing any problems you can. Typically, you’ll get the cost of the repairs back because you’ll sell your home for a higher price. Painting the walls in neutral colors, fixing leaky faucets, oiling squeaky doors, replacing tattered weather stripping, freshening tired-looking landscaping, and any other types of minor repairs will make a big difference in how buyers respond to your home.
If your home needs major repairs, you’ll need to decide how best to handle those issues.
What’s Your Best Strategy?