If you’re selling your house “as-is”, it means you’re selling it in its current condition without making any repairs or renovations. This can be appealing to many sellers, like those that have inherited a property or don’t have the time or resources to carry out lengthy repairs.
So, can you actually sell your house “as-is”?
You can sell your house “as-is”. This means you do not have to decorate or carry out repairs before putting it on the market. The best way to sell a house “as-is” will depend on the property’s condition and your priorities. You may need to explore alternative selling methods, like auction, to get the best results.
Our article explores the three best ways to sell a property “as-is” based on its current condition and level of disrepair. We also look at the pros and cons of each selling method to help you decide how best to proceed.
Our article contains lots of helpful hints and tips to help you find your perfect home selling method.
If you want to cut right to the chase and find out the best way to sell your property, I’ve designed a short quiz. Hit the link below to get started:
How to sell your house as-is?
There are three main ways to sell a house “as-is”: with an estate agent, by auction and to a house-buying company. However, not every selling method is going to be suitable for your property and priorities.
When searching online for the best way to sell a house “as-is”, you are inundated with articles from estate agents, auction houses and house-buying companies all claiming to be the best way to sell.
Our website aims to provide a completely unbiased guide based on my years of experience helping homeowners in your position.
My goal is to help you find the best way to sell your house based on your priorities and property, and connect you with leading property companies I know and trust.
Factors to consider
If you’re thinking about selling your house as-is, you will need to consider factors like the property’s condition, mortgageability, and your priorities. All three of these things will ultimately affect how you should sell your house.
Let’s look at the three points you’ll need to establish before proceeding:
- Determine the current condition of your property. Is it 1) derelict, 2) in need of a refurbishment or 3) cosmetic improvements only?
- Flag any problems that might make the property unmortgageable. For example, does your property have ongoing subsidence?
- Understand your priorities. Do you need to sell your home quickly, or is getting the best price more important to you?
Now you’ve considered your property’s condition, let’s look at four different examples. (Your property should fall within one of the four categories set out below.)
I’ll give you my recommendations for the best way to sell each type of property based on what you prioritise the most.
We’ve also designed a short quiz that will help you quickly determine the best way to sell your house depending on the condition of the property and your priorities. Click here to take the free quiz now.
Example 1: Best way to sell a derelict house “as-is”
Our first example looks at derelict houses and houses that are in very poor condition.
When it comes to selling a derelict house “as-is”, knowing the right approach can make all the difference.
Despite their poor condition, these properties have the potential to attract significant interest and sell well if targeted to the right audience.
The best audience for a rundown property will be property developers and investors. They will have the cash, time, and experience to take on a property in this condition.
So, where can you find these property developers and investors?
My recommendation: sell by auction
If you are looking to sell a house “as-is” that’s in poor condition, I would personally recommend selling by auction.
Based on my experience, these types of properties tend to do exceptionally well at auction for a number of reasons. Here are just some of the benefits of selling a house in poor condition by auction:
- Experience. Auctioneers will have far more experience selling derelict properties and properties in poor condition than most estate agents. This experience goes a long way as they’ll know how best to market the property to generate the most interest.
- Certainty. Traditional auctions offer you a much greater level of certainty than selling with an estate agent. Just 1% of all traditional auction sales fall through after the hammer goes down.
- Cash buyers. Auctions tend to attract a lot of experienced property developers and investors who tend to also be cash buyers. These are the types of buyers you want to try to attract, as they will be actively seeking properties like yours to revamp and sell on for a profit.
- Competitive bidding. Your auctioneer will discuss pricing tactics and strategies with you to generate the most interest and increase the chances of a bidding war, which will drive up the final price.
If you’re looking to achieve an even faster sale, there is another suitable alternative selling method…
Faster alternative: sell to a house-buying company
If you prioritise a quick sale, an alternative option is to sell “as-is” to a house-buying company.
House-buying companies buy properties in all kinds of conditions, so will not be put off by derelict houses or houses in a bad state of repair. Hence the term “we buy any house”.
Selling to a reputable house-buying company is the fastest way to sell a house. Most companies can make you a cash offer within 24-48 hours and complete in as little as 2 weeks!
There’s no waiting around to find a buyer either, so essentially you have a 100% chance of success.
So, what’s the catch?!
Unfortunately, this speed and certainty comes at a cost.
Although you don’t have any fees to pay, a genuine house-buying company will only be able to offer you around 80-85% of your home’s market value.
The other big drawback is how poorly regulated the house-buying industry is. It’s extremely difficult to pick the genuine companies out from the rest.
If you want to get a quote from a reputable house-buying company or see if a house buying company is the right option for you, you can take the short quiz below.
If this option is right for you, I will put you in touch with the house-buying company I know and trust. They can give you a free, no-obligation cash offer within 24 hours.
So, what about if your property has an issue such as ongoing subsidence that makes it unmortgageable? Can you still sell in its current condition, or will you need to fix the problem before you can put it on the market…?
Example 2: Unmortgageable problem properties
Certain issues, like ongoing subsidence, can make a house unmortgageable.
Faced with the prospect of costly building quotes, months of disruptions and logistical challenges, selling the property “as-is” often becomes an appealing option.
The good news is you won’t need to fix the problem to make the house mortgageable before you can sell it. The bad news is, if you want to sell an unmortgageable house “as-is”, you are going to be limited to cash buyers.
The key to a successful sale is knowing where to find them….
Sell by auction – my personal recommendation
If you are trying to sell a problem property as-is, I personally recommend selling by traditional auction.
Traditional auction can be a great fit for problem properties because the buyers tend to be experienced (think property developers, landlords and investors) and are often cash buyers.
According to Auction House, one of the largest property auction companies in the UK:
Here are my main reasons for recommending traditional auction when selling problem properties as-is:
1. Auctioneer experience levels.
Auctioneers spend much more of their time working with problem properties than most estate agents.
This experience translates into them getting the right kinds of buyers competing to buy your property. More competition between bidders equals a better price for you in the end.
2. Buyer experience levels.
Buyers at auctions tend to be more experienced because the immediate exchange is such a big commitment. They also tend to buy with cash, so if your property is unmortgageable this will be less of an issue.
Experienced buyers will not be put off by any complicated issues with your problem property. Instead, they will see it as an exciting opportunity to make a profit.
3. Binding sales.
You won’t experience the high fall-through rate you’re likely to get when selling through an estate agent. This is because traditional auctions are binding from the moment the gavel falls.
To see if it’s the right fit for you, click here to take the free 60-second quiz we’ve designed for you.
Although it’s possible to sell a problem property as-is with an estate agent or to a house-buying company, I do not recommend it. Read on to find out why…
Selling with an estate agent – not recommended
I would not recommend the estate agent route if you’re planning to sell a “problem property” as-is. It can be a very long, stressful, and disappointing journey. Here’s why…
- Time. Given that the property is unmortgageable, it can take over a year to find a suitable buyer.
- Wrong type of buyers. Depending on the problem, owner-occupiers are unlikely to have the cash funds needed to buy the property outright AND repair the property to a mortgageable condition.
- High fall-through rate. Even if you do find an owner-occupier with the cash funds, sales are much more likely to fall through. Inexperienced buyers could get cold feet when they start to realise how much repair work is actually involved.
- Inexperienced agents. I’ve also seen inexperienced estate agents put buyers off if they don’t fully understand the property problem!
Multiple failed attempts to sell on the open market can make a property look very unattractive. This can result in a much lower price if you eventually do decide to sell at auction.
Selling to a house-buying company – not recommended
As we said above, the quickest way to sell a house is to sell directly to a house-buying company.
The house-buying company I work with can offer you a formal, guaranteed offer within 48 hours and can buy your house in as little as 2 weeks. This can seem like an attractive option if you want to sell your problem property as-is and move on quickly.
BUT I would not recommend selling a problem property to a house buying company. Here’s why…
- The problem that is making the house unmortgageable is devaluing the property – perhaps by as much as 20-30%.
- A genuine house-buying company will need to buy for 15-20% less than that.
- The end result is a very, very low offer.
For you, it means taking a “double-whammy” – you take a hit on the price because of the issue, and you take another hit by selling to a house-buying company.
House-buying companies will often ultimately sell your problem property at auction. It therefore makes so much more sense for you to cut out the middleman and sell by auction yourself.
So, if you want to sell your problem property as-is rather than wait to fix any issues, auction is the way to go. You’ll likely get 20% more than selling to a house-buying company!
Click here to take our free 60-second quiz and find out if selling by auction is the perfect home selling method for you too…
Example 3: Dated properties in need of a full refurb
The third example covers properties in need of a full refurbishment. (Think new bathrooms and kitchen, rather than just new wallpaper.)
The most common example is when a seller has inherited a house that hasn’t been updated in many years. Often sellers would prefer to sell as-is, as they are already dealing with a lot and don’t have the time, emotional energy, and resources to carry out the work.
The good news is that all three selling methods – estate agent, auction, and cash house-buying company – would be suitable for this type of property.
The best option for you will largely depend on your priorities. The main trade-off is between the time taken and the price achieved.
However, in my experience, these types of properties are a really good fit for auction.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of each selling method below:
Estate agency route
If you want to achieve the best price possible, then selling with a local, recommended estate agent is the best option for you.
Keep in mind that a property in need of a full refurbishment is not going to appeal to every buyer. It may take time to find someone who is willing and excited to take on a project of this scale.
According to Zoopla, it takes nearly 6 months on average to sell a house with an estate agent. A property of this kind could take even longer to sell because it isn’t move-in ready.
There’s also a greater risk of buyers getting cold feet and pulling out of the sale.
An owner-occupier might be excited about taking on a project of this scale and putting their stamp on the property. But once quotes start to come in and they appreciate the full extent of the work required, they might soon realise that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
If you want a faster, more certain sale, there are other options better suited to you…
Sell by auction
Properties in need of a full refurbishment sell really well at auction in my experience.
These types of properties appeal to a wide range of buyers, including:
- Investors, who are looking for opportunities to add value and sell on for a profit.
- Owner-occupiers, who are looking to put their stamp on a property and aren’t scared of a project.
Auctions offer a great balance between speed and price. You can sell your property in as little as 10-12 weeks, with much more certainty than selling on the open market.
One of the main advantages of selling by auction is fewer fall-throughs.
Buyers are contractually bound to complete the purchase once the hammer falls and must pay a hefty deposit upfront. This means that less than 1% of auction sales fall through after they’ve been agreed (compared to a whopping 31% of estate agency sales).
Auctioneers will also have plenty of experience selling properties in need of refurbishment. This means they will be able to generate lots of interest through their marketing and pricing tactics. More competition between bidders means a better price for you!
Sell to a house-buying company
Selling your house as-is to a cash house-buying company is a great option if you want a guaranteed quick, certain sale.
A reputable, well-funded house-buying company will make you a cash offer within 24-48 hours and will be able to complete the purchase in as little as 2 weeks.
Speed and certainty come at a price though (usually 80-85% of the property’s market value), so this option isn’t for everyone.
Is a house-buying company right for you?
If you're thinking about a fast sale, the first thing you need to do is find out whether or not this is really the right option for you...
I designed a short 60-second quiz to help you do just that. You can click here to take our free quiz.
If a Cash House Buyer is the right option, I'll introduce you to the company I know and trust on your quiz results page.
Example 4: Cosmetic improvements
The final example covers properties that only need basic cosmetic improvements, such as a lick of paint or new carpets.
I would actually argue that it’s sometimes better to sell these properties as-is, rather than spending time painting and decorating. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to interior design, and you can’t please everyone.
Often buyers will be looking to put their own stamp on their new home. Cosmetic improvements take time and cost money but won’t necessarily add lots of value to your home.
The best thing you can do instead that will make a massive difference is tidying and decluttering the property. I know this takes a little bit of effort, but it really can transform the marketing pictures and success of any viewings.
What is the best way to sell?
All three selling methods – estate agent, auction, and house-buying company – would be suitable for this type of property.
The best selling method for you will therefore largely depend on what you prioritise the most...
- Price. To get the best price possible, you should sell through a good local estate agent.
- Speed. To get the fastest sale possible, you should sell to a cash house buying company.
- Balance of speed and price. For a good balance of speed and price, you should sell by auction.
You can quickly find out the best way to sell your home based on your property and priorities by taking our free 60-second quiz.
My advice on selling your house as-is
If you are considering selling your property as-is, not every selling method is going to be suitable for your property and priorities. Alternative selling methods, like selling by auction, may actually get you the best results. So, it's important to keep an open mind and explore your options if you decide to sell your house in its current condition.
During my career, I've bought and sold nearly 150 of my own properties, and sold hundreds more for clients.
I have condensed my knowledge and experience into a quiz that will help you discover the best way to sell your home.
The quiz is completely free and will only take 60-seconds to complete.
The quiz takes into consideration your property, its condition, and any other problems, as well as your priorities.
After completing the quiz, you'll receive your personalised results and I will introduce you to the companies I know and trust.
So, if you're looking to save a lot of homework, headaches and guesswork, I can help. Hit the button below to get started…
By Matthew Cooper, Co-Founder of Home Selling Expert