Buying a House As Is: A Guide to Making Smart Decisions


Buying a house can be a stressful process. You have to negotiate the price, find financing, and go through inspections. But at least you know that when you buy a home, it’ll be in good condition. That’s not always true with “as-is” home sales. If you’re considering buying ‘as is,’ here are some things to consider:

What is a house or property “as-is”?

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A house as is is a home that is being sold “as is”. In other words, the seller isn’t responsible for any repairs or issues with the property. The buyer must pay for any repairs or issues.

You can understand why signing an “as-is” purchase contract is a lot riskier than a conventional loan with an inspection contingency.

Is the whole property being sold as-is?

On as-is listings, most sellers will include a seller’s disclosure clause in the contract that states that the property is being sold “as is” and not with warranties of any kind. In addition, they may also use language that explicitly limits or disclaims their liability in the event of any problems with the property after purchase (for example, when selling a house to someone who plans on living there).

In most cases, however, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see anything in writing about what it means for a home to be sold “as is.” Instead, you’ll have to rely on your own common sense; if your real estate agent doesn’t mention anything about warranties or disclosures up front (and he should), then you should ask. If there are major appliances missing from the kitchen—including refrigerators, stoves, and ovens—it’s worth asking whether they come with this particular house before agreeing on any price at all.

If there are other major problems with an appliance like a furnace or water heater that might cause huge repair costs down the road (and let’s face it: these things happen), then maybe paying more upfront wouldn’t hurt so much after all!

Why would you buy a home as is?

If you are a first-time home buyer, you will likely find that conventional loans are rarely given for homes that need work. A fixer-upper is going to need repairs and maintenance before it can be sold in its current condition, which means that most lenders will want to see proof of funds available for these changes before approving your mortgage application.

Cheaper sale price

The seller will give you a better Sale price if you’re willing to buy the house as is. They’ll know that they don’t have to fix anything, and if your offer is lower than what they expected, it’s easier for them to just accept it and move on.

If you’re looking for a bargain, this can help get you one.

Faster closing time

  • You can close on the house faster. No more waiting for repairs to be completed and no more hovering over your real estate agent’s shoulder, hoping that everything is being taken care of.

  • You can move in sooner! If you have been searching for months and are tired of looking at other people’s houses on Instagram, this is the perfect option for you.

Pros of buying a move-in ready home

Buying a move-in ready home means there won’t be as many surprises about what kind of condition your house is in. This makes the home-buying process much less stressful since there won’t be any unexpected surprises like moldy walls or faulty wiring when you move into your new home.

Can you negotiate on an as-is home?

If you’re in the market for an as-is home, it’s important to know that you can negotiate on the price of a home. This is true no matter whether the seller is willing to make repairs or not.

However, keep in mind that even though you can negotiate on an as-is home, there are limits to what your negotiating power will allow: You can’t make a seller agree to something they just won’t do—for example, if they have lead paint and don’t want to delead before closing, then you’ll have to do it yourself.

Does the seller have to fix anything?

The short answer is: no. The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Sellers typically do not have to make repairs, but if there are any defects in the property that can be proven by an inspection or home inspection report and are disclosed to you before closing, then you may be able to ask them to fix them at their expense. If it was something they didn’t know about until after they sold you the house (e.g., Mold under the flooring) then they aren’t responsible for fixing it since they didn’t know about it before selling you the house!

There are some exceptions where sellers might be held responsible:

  • If there is a warranty on any work done on your home prior to closing (for example: new roof), then expect your seller to pay for repairs related to those claims—or at least partially cover them through insurance claims with their insurance company

Are there any kind of guarantees for an as-is home?

There are no guarantees with an as-is home. The seller is not obligated to fix anything, and neither is the buyer. You’re on your own when it comes to any repair work that needs to be done after you move in.

The seller may be able to provide some guidance on potential problems with your new house—and he or she can let you know how much it would cost to fix those issues—but ultimately, it will be up to you whether or not you want to invest in fixing them yourself.

Your next steps

Once you’ve decided to buy the house as is, it’s time to figure out how much work needs to be done. If there are any structural problems with the home that need fixing before closing, your first step should be talking with the seller about how quickly they can get them fixed.

Ideally, they’ll agree on a timeline so that everyone knows what to expect going forward. If not, make sure you’re clear on whether or not they can give you any sort of guarantee about when things will be fixed (or at least when they’ll start working with contractors).

If fixing up the house before closing is too much for them or not worth their time and energy after everything else has been considered, then ask if there’s something else within reason that will help get rid of some smells and other lingering issues from previous tenants’ pets or habits—like carpet shampooing or deodorizing spray for carpets and upholstery—that might help make living in your new home less unpleasant until further repairs can be made later on down the road.

Best Practices for Buyers

Buying a home as is can have its benefits, but you still need to know what you’re getting into. You should:

  • Research the costs of repairs. Keep in mind that it’s best to get an estimate from at least three different contractors.

  • Get a home inspection. This will give you an idea of what needs to be fixed and determine whether further investigation is warranted (if there are other issues).

  • Ask for a home warranty from the seller. This protects against major problems that may arise later on down the line—and it’ll help safeguard your investment if something does go wrong!

  • Enlist professional help in negotiating and closing on your property! A real estate agent can help walk through any tricky aspects of dealing with selling an as-is house; they’ll also make sure all legalities are handled properly before closing takes place so there aren’t any surprises after moving into your new place!

Home Inspections Are A Must For ‘As-Is’ Sales

Home inspections are a must for any ‘as-is’ sale, if the seller allows. A home inspector will search the house and uncover issues that may not have been apparent to the naked eye or to an inexperienced buyer. You can use this information to negotiate with the seller on repairs, or you can buy it “as-is” and hope nothing goes wrong in the next few years (which probably isn’t a great idea).

Know The Cost Of Repairs Before You Buy

Before you buy a house, it’s important to know what kind of shape the house is in. Not all houses are in perfect condition and some may need more work than others. If you’re buying a home that needs repairs, make sure you have an idea of how much those repairs will cost.

If there’s anything wrong with the property (and sometimes even if there isn’t), most sellers will try to entice buyers by telling them that they’ll fix any issues before closing on their own dime. What happens when these fixes aren’t done? What happens when the seller doesn’t want to pay out of pocket for something that he or she has sold?

If you’re considering buying a house ‘as is,’ here’s what you should know.

Buying a home “as is” might save you money and speed up the process of buying a home, but it also carries some risks.

Before purchasing an as-is house, consider the following:

  • You will likely pay less for the property. In addition to saving on closing costs and other fees, you could potentially buy a house for less than its current market value because the owner has decided to sell quickly or needs to sell immediately due to financial reasons.

  • You may get what you pay for (or less). Since there are no inspections done on as-is properties, there’s no guarantee that everything works properly or meets code requirements.


Buying a house that’s sold as-is can be an exciting and smart way to get into real estate. But it’s also a complex process, so it’s essential to be well-informed before you start looking at homes.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.

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