Buying a Home That’s Listed As Is


Not all homes are created equal, and not all houses that are on the market can be assumed to be in the same condition. For example, you may encounter a listing that is marked As Is—and if so, you’ll probably notice that the home in question is for sale for a fairly low asking price. But what does the As Is modifier actually mean? And is the deal too good to be true?

What it Means to Sell a Home As Is

When a home is sold As Is, what it really means is that it’s being sold in its present physical condition. The seller is not going to make any repairs, and there is no warranty or guarantee of the house’s overall condition.

Often, but not always, As Is houses have a back story along these lines: The seller is ready to move on, but knows the house has some problems. The seller lacks either the time or money to make the needed repairs, so he or she lists it As Is, usually discounting the price to make up for the risk that the buyer is taking on.

Don’t Buy Blind

A home that’s being sold As Is almost always has some issues with it. Sometimes they might be obvious; maybe you notice that the carpet is in bad shape, or the appliances are sorely outdated. In other cases, though, the issues may not be as obvious—plumbing, structural, or electrical issues that the average buyer won’t be aware of.

This is what makes it critically important to have a home inspection done. We recommend inspections for all purchases, but especially for As Is homes. The As Is label all but guarantees some issues, and you’re going to have to take care of them yourself—so it’s best to know what they are before you sign on the dotted line!

Pros and Cons of Buying a Home As Is

Really, this all comes down to risk. The potential risk you are taking with an As Is home is that the issues are significant, and will put you out of a lot of money as you try to fix them. The potential reward is that you’ll get a home for a low price. Will you break even? Will it all wash out okay? There’s no way to know for sure—so again, it’s critical to go into an As Is situation with as much information as you can. The price of an inspection is what you pay to make that happen.

We also recommend considering As Is properties with the guidance of an agent, who can direct you to potential issues or opportunities. The agents at Minges Cline are certainly happy to provide our insights where we can. Learn more about our North Carolina real estate expertise by contacting the Minges Cline team today!