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Question DetailsAsked on 6/18/2014

Selling my home: What are the pros and cons of selling "as is"?

Home is in Silver Spring, MD. 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, built in the 40s. I'm not worried about having to sell at a loss. There is some equity but proceeds from the sale will be split with my Ex. Comps in my neighborhood are around $450K. Work that is needed within the next year or two (either prior to sale, or by the new owners): Replace aging central air and heating; replace or remediate cast iron main pipe; bathroom tub and floor repair; and, (optional) indoor painting; hardwood floor refinishing; chimney repair (cracks inside).
I can't afford to do some of these big items without taking out loans that would eliminate the equity. It's hard to say of the sale price of the home will be increased enough by completing this work prior to listing the home for sale.
I know that this is limited information, but hopefully it's enough to get some feedback on the pros and cons of selling the house "as is". Any suggestions or alternative strategies are greatly welcomed.

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1 Answer

Voted Best Answer

If you are having a friendly divorce you might want to know what doing the repairs would add to the sale price. I think your best bet would actually be to talk to a realtor as to what they think the difference would be. Then get a couple of estimates from a local contractor or contractors.

Being in a divorce situation I would think sell as is and move on as quickly as you can. Renovation of a home can be a stress on a good marraige and it would probably be worse if in divorce proceedings.

Good luck Don

Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Especially with a divorce (which well might not stay amenable) and the difficulty of defining what work is to be done and getting both parties to pay for their share timely - and the contractual problems if the divorse is finalized before the work is done (two unmarried persons on contract and maybe only one being "owner" after divorce), I would say as Don - don't take chances, sell it without improvements, which as you say may not pay off anyways.

I would get a home inspector for a couple hundred dollars, just like a buyer would, to go through the house with you and your Realtor (with your Owners Disclosure in hand so he knows about above items you have mentioned like chimney cracks) for an "owner's inspection" to identify, as his scope of work and in writing, ONLY the life-safety and mandatory code items that HAVE to come up to snuff for sale or represent a HAZARD, and then sit down and verbally (not in report) discuss (outside of the inspection scope but obviously still getting paid for this) any other items he noticed that he thinks could raise a red flag to another buyer's inspector but are not life safety or mandatory code upgrades. Then fix only those in financial conjunction with your soon to be ex - patching and touching up as necessary for safety/code items and obvious wear and tear issues (holes in walls, missing grout, major wall gouges or cracks, things like that but only cleaning other walls, carpeting, floors, etc - not replacing or refinishing.

I would NOT upgrade aged but working items or repaint or refloor (unless some real bad areas) - obviously you can both talk to Realtor about visual appeal issues, but I would say you are better off giving a sale price credit to a serious buyer to let him get work done his way after closing than try to anticipate what buyers might want, or try to spruce the house up to the hilt for the sale.

And no for at least six reasons -

1) coordination and cost-sharing issues in divorce,

2) inability to predict how much of improvement costs you might actually recoup,

3) possibility of divorce-related issues getting in the way in the middle of the improvements,

4) will likely take a lot of work to bring a 40's house to peak market value and market is not really a Sellers market right now in most areas,

5) the loan would be messy, if possible - you would not want to take out loan yourself to pay for improvements benefitting both parties and likely impossiblel to jointly get a loan while in divorce, and

6) desireability of getting the sale completed ASAP - far preferably before divorce is finalized than carry on an unwanted house afterwards and have to fight over carrying costs (particularly if one party will still be living in house), plus the actual carrying costs like mortgage and such during the interim.

Talk to your attorney about legal issues and beartraps too - LOTS of them probably.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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