Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pros And Cons Of Selling An "As IS" House

DEAR BOB: I have decided to sell my home so I can afford to move to a very nice, nearby assisted-living residence. My two-bedroom home, built in 1938, has become a bit run-down. However, it is in a very good neighborhood where most homes have been remodeled or completely rebuilt. My real estate agent suggests I spend about $50,000 to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms before listing my house on the market for sale. My son says I should just have the house painted inside and outside.

He and his pals have offered to do the painting in a weekend or two. I can afford the $50,000 renovation cost, but then I read your article about selling "as is" and wonder if that's the way to go?

Listen to your smart son. There is no sense spending $50,000 to renovate an older house just before sale. Your buyers will either like your charming older house the way it is and be thankful for a reasonable price in a desirable neighborhood, or they will want to remodel to their taste after purchase.

Save your $50,000 and the inconvenience of renovation, which might not even return the $50,000 in the form of a higher sales price.

Let your son and his pals paint your house inside and outside. Also, check the landscaping to be sure it is attractive. Perhaps plant some spring flowers to make the front yard especially inviting.

When you sell your home "as is," that means the seller must disclose all known defects (such as a leaking roof) but the seller won't pay for any repairs. However, if an obvious defect can be repaired at minimal expense, such as a dripping faucet, get it fixed.

In addition to the real estate agent you already consulted, after the house is painted and ready to sell, I suggest you interview at least two more agents.

The reason is you need to compare their evaluations, especially their CMAs (comparative market analysis). These forms will show you recent sales prices of comparable nearby homes, asking prices of neighborhood homes currently listed for sale (your competition), and even the asking prices of recently expired similar home listings. Then you can correctly set your asking price.

Published by Inman News

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