ShackEarlier today, I read this blog post from one of my favorite real estate bloggers, Theresa Boardman. I agree with her post about properties that are sold “as is” but I would like to just expand a little on her point.

When are homes sold “as is”

As Theresa states in her post, many sellers of real estate feel it is necessary to make a statement that the home will be sold as is. The statement usually means that they are not willing to perform any repairs or grant any concessions to a buyer for the property for sale. It does not mean that the buyer is not permitted to perform due diligence such as home inspections and the like to make sure they understand what they are buying.

But even if the seller is willing to and does make repairs or concessions to the buyer of the property, it is still being sold as is. Our Pennsylvania standard agreement of sale states that the property is sold without warranty. There are many contingencies that a buyer can elect so he may do proper due diligence leading up to the actual settlement. If a buyer wishes to purchase a home warranty, or ask the seller to purchase one, that is permissible but there is no implied warranty included as part of the standard agreement of sale.

All homes are sold as is. Caveat Emptor!

On the other hand, even if a seller is implying by his “as is” statement that he is not willing to make any concessions, does that mean that he really is not willing to make concessions? The seller, at the time of listing, has no idea what concessions a buyer will ask for and if he is serious about selling the property, perhaps a small concession here or there to get the deal done is not such a bad thing after all.

“As is” is a faulty marketing strategy

There are few things that a seller can say to a buyer that will turn them off and chase them away quicker than “This home is being sold as is”. Why would anyone cut off negotiations before they even begin? I have worked with sellers who have told me that they are not willing to accept any concessions or perform any repairs to their properties. How do they know that? They don’t even know what the buyer prospect is asking for? All homes are sold as is. Why not wait for the buyer to ask for the concession before saying no?

I feel it is my responsibility as a listing agent to highlight the strengths and value of a property. Doesn’t all real estate have value? Even if you knock the house down, the ground has value to construct another house.

When working with buyers, I tell them the same thing I say to my seller clients. “They don’t even know what concessions you want.” “You don’t even know what concessions you want until you do the due diligence.”

All negotiations involve risk. Expert opinions and inspections require investment that may return nothing if the transaction doesn’t work. Isn’t better though to know that in advance than to make a huge investment for a less than expected value?

So sellers, if you wish to sell your real estate, please don’t cut off the negotiations before they even start.

Buyers, don’t be afraid to explore those diamonds in the rough. Their could be some real value there.

And for those who are reading this to find a connection to Valentine’s Day, I am sorry to disappoint you. Like Theresa Boardman’s, this post has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day either.

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© 2011, Joe Sheehan. All rights reserved.