Selling a House ‘As Is’ in North Carolina
Looking to sell a house “as is” in North Carolina? Whether you’ve got a fixer-upper or recently inherited a relative’s home, sometimes the goal is to skip repairs, get a fair offer, and move on.
Top-rated North Carolina real estate agent Ashley Schaus had a listing recently that was in really rough shape. “Let’s just say that I wore the wrong outfit,” she says of her first visit to the property. “I had on a dress and boots and I should have been in jeans and work boots.”
The seller wanted to sell “as is,” including leaving behind a bunch of belongings in the house. Schaus did advise her client to contact a junk removal company to clear out the house, but that was the only preparation made before the house hit the market. “[The seller] agreed to take the first offer she got and we walked away about two to three weeks later with a contract.”
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However, selling a house “as is” usually means accepting a lower offer and it doesn’t always prevent buyers from trying to negotiate savings. Let’s take a closer look at how to sell a house “as is” in North Carolina, your options for getting an offer, and what to expect from the process.
Fast facts about selling a house ‘as is’ in North Carolina
|Median sales price in North Carolina
|$359,600 (April 2022)
|Average days on market for North Carolina
|23 days (from listing to contract)
|North Carolina state law requires sellers to disclose material facts about the property through the Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement
|MLS has field to mark a listing “as is”?
|Is a real estate attorney required?
|Real estate attorneys are considered essential for closing in the state of North Carolina
|Real estate transfer taxes?
Sellers in Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Washington counties may also have to pay a local real estate excise tax of up to 1%
What is ‘as is’ condition in real estate?
“As is” is a type of home sale where it’s understood that no improvements will be made to the property. When selling a house, ‘as is,’ the seller is choosing not to entertain requests from buyers to complete repairs or provide a credit for fixes.
An as-is sale may also indicate that the functionality and longevity of certain components of the home, such as a stove on its last legs or an older roof, is not guaranteed.
When selling a house ‘as is,’ the general condition of the property should already be accounted for in the purchase price of the home to the best of the seller’s knowledge.
Schaus does business in the area of Fort Bragg, which means that Department of Veterans Affairs home loans (VA loans) are used very often by buyers. With that in mind, she does try to encourage sellers to at least consider making appraiser-required repairs when selling “as is” in North Carolina.
“Sellers are reading the news and seeing things on TV and saying things like, ‘I don’t want to do anything because I can still get top dollar’,” she says. “But they’re going to eliminate a lot of buyers [in this area] if they do that.”
Which types of homes are sold ‘as is’?
Homes sold “as is” often need some work or may be cosmetically outdated. It’s not a label you’re likely to put on a listing in pristine, move-in-ready condition.
“As is” sales often attract investors searching for their next flip or buyers seeking a bargain, perhaps on a home in a great location with lots of potential.
“I always want to make sure that it’s well known to the public that the house is being sold ‘as is’,” Schaus says. “If the buyer’s agent didn’t put anything to that effect into the contract or into a separate addendum, I always go back and include that language.”
What problems do you have to disclose in North Carolina?
Selling a house “as is” in North Carolina doesn’t mean sweeping known problems about the house under the rug.
A good time to fill out the Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement is prior to listing your home or requesting an offer so that you know it’s taken care of.
According to the document, sellers are required to disclose information and problems about which they have actual knowledge. The 4-page document has 34 questions and fill-in-the-blank fields regarding the characteristics and condition of the property.
Where indicated, sellers must check “yes” for any question where a problem exists, and then either describe the issue or “attach a report from an attorney, engineer, contractor, pest control operator or other expert or public agency describing it.” If the seller has actual knowledge of a problem, or should have known a problem exists, but doesn’t choose to disclose it, they should check the “No Representation” box.
The form will walk you through documenting what you know about the age and characteristics of the house, including the age of the roof, and then present a list of disclosures the state requires.
Material facts or defects
The form will ask if the seller is aware of problems related to a malfunction or defect with the home’s foundation, slab, fireplaces/chimneys, floors, windows, doors, ceilings, interior and exterior walls, garage, patio, deck, or other structural components.
Sellers must disclose a number of issues related to water damage or leaks. Some of these include:
- Leakage or other problems with the dwelling’s roof
- Water seepage, leakage, dampness, or standing water in the home’s basement, crawl space, or slab
- Any known flood hazard or if the property is located in a federally-designated flood hazard area
It will also ask about the property’s water supply source.
Main home systems
Sellers will be asked to disclose any known problems with:
- The home’s plumbing system (pipes, fixtures, water heater)
- Any malfunctions or defects with the home’s heating and/or air conditioning
- Issues related to fuel sources (electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil)
- The home’s sewage disposal system
- Problem, malfunctions, or defects with any appliances that may be included in the sale
Hazardous or toxic substances
Sellers must disclose any known hazardous or toxic substances, materials, or products, such as asbestos, formaldehyde, radon gas, methane gas, and lead-based paint.
Some of the additional required disclosures in North Carolina include:
- Any known violation of local zoning ordinances, restrictive covenants, or other land-use restrictions or building codes.
- If the property is the subject of any lawsuits, foreclosures, bankruptcy, leases or rental agreements, judgments, tax liens, proposed assessments, or other liens or notices that could affect title to the property
- Whether the house is subject to regulation by a homeowners’ association
No matter what method you choose to sell your home, it’s required to make these disclosures to the best of your ability. However, North Carolina does allow certain exceptions for sellers who haven’t lived in the home. This includes the first sale of a home that has never been inhabited and transfers to a beneficiary under a deed of trust.
Review your options to sell ‘as is’ in North Carolina
The main options to sell a house “as is” include:
List ‘as is’ with the help of a real estate agent
A great real estate agent will provide assistance throughout the process of listing and selling a home “as is.” An agent gives simple presentation tips to improve marketing, helps to set an appropriate price that reflects the home’s condition, and works to find a buyer willing and eager to buy your home in its current state.
When representing homeowners who want to sell their house in North Carolina “as is,” Schaus always recommends that they consider appraiser-required repairs.
She recently had one client who was selling and buying a home near Fort Bragg and needed all of the proceeds from the sale of their house to get into their new home. “They decided to fix the back door because that’s something they were going to do anyway. But they didn’t have any money to spend on new floors, carpeting, or anything else,” she says. “So we went with appraiser-required repairs only.”
Sell directly to a cash buyer
Someone needing to sell their home “as is” can also work directly with a property investor or house buying company rather than list, where it may be difficult to get an offer from a limited buyer pool.
“We buy houses” operations buy “as is” at a discounted rate and generally seek out homes in need of significant repairs. These companies can help sellers cash out quickly and many will cover a seller’s closing costs.
Steps to list ‘as is’ with the help of a real estate agent
Find an agent willing to list the home ‘as is’
Your choice of real estate agent always matters, but especially when selling a property “as is.” It’s important to find the right match. You’re looking for an agent who doesn’t shy away from listings that need a little TLC and maybe has a strong network of investor connections.
Your agent should also be willing to go the extra mile on marketing. Considering 80% of Americans say they would prefer to buy a move-in-ready home, an “as is” sale likely has a reduced buyer pool from the start.
Consider a pre-listing inspection
A pre-listing home inspection is the same as a standard home inspection except that the seller pays for it before listing their home on the market. It may sound like a counterintuitive step for an as-is sale, but getting the inspection results upfront can illuminate any issues that could impact the value of the home and inform an accurate pricing strategy. If a buyer requests further deductions to the price based on their own inspection, you may be able to point to how the estimated cost of certain repairs was already baked into the list price.
Schaus does warn that there can be a downside to these pre-inspections, as well. This is because sellers must legally disclose all of the significant defects they are aware of.
“Home inspection reports are supposed to belong to the person who ordered them, but a lot of times, other agents will share them. There’s been a lot of people who have come up through the commission review system and got into trouble for not disclosing something they should have,” Schaus says.
It can also lead to sellers having to put more money into a property before it sells. “I had one seller this year who chose to do one and ended up putting in a new roof and new HVAC system,” she recounts. “They spent $15,000 to $20,000 in repairs and were lucky to reap some of those rewards by selling higher than the listing price.”
Price to reflect “as is” condition
The median sale price for homes in North Carolina hit $359,600 in April 2022, a nearly 19% increase over the year prior.
Schaus says that when it comes to the selling price of “as is” homes in the area, it really comes down to the condition of the home. “I had one that we listed for higher than we knew it was going to sell for, but others are coming pretty close to the listing price.”
You can start with a free estimate from HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator (HVE).
Our HVE combs public data including tax records and assessments and pulls recent sales records for other properties in your neighborhood. Using a short questionnaire, we also factor in specifics about your home such as the property type and described condition. Input your address, and we’ll provide you with a preliminary home value estimate in under two minutes.
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Do ever-so-light preparations
Even for as-is home listings in North Carolina, Schaus recommends that if you are planning on leaving stuff behind in the home, that you clean it out as much as possible before listing the property. Given the number of VA and FHA buyers in her area, she also recommends that sellers consider making appraiser-required repairs. Sellers should also:
- Declutter, depersonalize, and clean the house
- Pressure wash the exterior of the home, as well as on the deck, driveway, and walkways
- Open window treatments to let in natural light
- Eliminate odors, especially pet odors
- Spruce up the yard by mowing the grass, removing weeds, and trimming shrubs
Photograph to show potential
Your home listing warrants professional photography no matter what type of condition the property is in. A professional photographer will take steps to shoot each room from the best angle, ensure optimal interior and natural lighting, and edit for the ideal brightness and exposure.
A high-quality camera with a wide-angle lens is also essential to showcasing entire rooms rather than half or three-quarters of what’s there. For these reasons and more, professionally photographed homes can sell up to three weeks faster and bring in up to $11,000 more than their houses marketed without professional photos.
Your real estate agent will almost always arrange for professional photos as part of the listing process.
Highlight the surrounding area
A home’s location will be important to buyers seeking out a house with potential. Mention in your as-is listing if your home is close to any of the following:
- Parks, public outdoor spaces
- Highway access
- Vibrant downtown areas
According to Schaus, in her area of North Carolina, proximity to Fort Bragg is also a big perk. “Everybody wants to be close to Fort Bragg.”
Include ‘as is’ in the listing
Unless you explicitly mention that your house is being sold “as is,” buyers will have no idea of your intentions with the listing. Other common descriptors mentioned in as-is listings in North Carolina include priced to sell, fixer-upper, or an appeal to investors.
To balance the focus on “as-is” condition, work with your agent to craft a property description that highlights the best features of the home, such as the location, lot size, structural integrity, or historical significance. In North Carolina, there isn’t a specific “as is” checkbox they can use when listing a home on the multiple listing service (MLS), so they have to include it in the Remarks 1 and Remarks 2 fields.
According to Schaus, the Remarks 1 field is for the public, while the Remarks 2 field is viewable by other agents only. “Sometimes a listing agent will only put it in Remarks 2. As a buyer’s agent, I always make sure my buyers know what’s in there so they can decide if they still want to see a property or not.”
Understand buyers may still negotiate
Listing “as is” provides no guarantee that buyers won’t try to negotiate savings on their purchase, even on an asking price you felt was already reduced to reflect the home’s condition. One of the best defenses you can have is an agent who takes a hard stance to prevent a deal from going south for the seller.
Be aware of minimum property standards for certain loans
When you place your home on the market, it’s hard to predict if your top offer will come from a cash buyer or a buyer pre-qualified for a home loan.
But if you do end up working with a financed buyer, be aware that different mortgage types (such as conventional loans or government-backed FHA, USDA, or VA loans) have different minimum property standards. These are standards related to the overall condition of a property which will play a role in the willingness and/or ability of a lender to finance a buyer’s loan.
Before properties can be financed, their value and condition are typically examined by a state-licensed, independent appraiser contracted by the buyer’s mortgage company.
If you’re unsure whether your home will meet appraisal requirements, you can start by taking a look at the FHA minimum property standards. If your house complies with FHA, then it complies with most other lenders’ requirements.
Prioritize a cash offer if you receive one
On occasion, conventional lenders may even finance a fixer-upper property sold “as is,” and it’s not impossible to finance a fixer-upper with an FHA loan. However, if you’re selling a house “as is” — especially one that needs heftier repairs — you may want to consider accepting a cash offer if you receive one. Cash eliminates the lender-ordered appraisal as well as the time it takes to close on the buyer’s loan, creating a faster and clearer path to settlement.
All things being equal, Schaus recommends that her sellers go with a cash offer because they won’t have to worry about appraisal gaps or any appraiser-required repairs. “Say they got an offer for $135,000 cash, but also a VA loan offer for $135,000. Provided both offers say ‘as is,’ with the VA loan, you’ll still need to worry about appraiser-required repairs.”
Pros of listing a home ‘as is’
- Save time and money on prepwork
- Possibility of reducing negotiations from the inspection
- Solution for out-of-state owners and inherited homes
Cons of listing a home ‘as is’
- Limited buyer pool
- Expect lower offers
- Negotiations and repairs aren’t always off the table
Steps to sell directly to a cash buyer
Now that we’ve covered the general process of listing a home “as is,” let’s discuss the alternative of working with an investor. While the process varies from business to business, the steps to selling your home to a house-buying company typically go something like this:
- Decision: A homeowner decides a traditional listing isn’t for them. Perhaps their house needs a lot of work or they do not want to host any showings or open houses. They’re concerned about finding a buyer willing to purchase their home “as is” in its current state.
- Contact: A seller contacts a company that buys homes in their area and provides some basic information about their home.
- Preliminary offer: At this stage, some house-buying companies will provide a preliminary offer that is subject to change after a house assessment.
- Assessment: The company schedules a walkthrough of the property to evaluate its condition, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
- Firm offer: The company makes a firm offer (usually within 24 hours, sometimes on-site after the walkthrough) which you can accept or decline. Most of these companies will not negotiate on price, so the offer is a take-it-or-leave-it scenario.
- Closing: If you accept the offer, you and the company will each sign the contract, and closing will begin. Some companies offer a large deposit or moving cost assistance, and a few may even pay for the home upfront.
- Payment: The seller receives payment quickly, typically within seven days to a few weeks. This can vary by company, and sellers who work with a house-buying company often enjoy flexibility in selecting a move-out date that works for them.
If you aren’t sure where to get a cash offer, consider Simple Sale, a solution from HomeLight. With Simple Sale, you tell us a bit about your home, such as whether it’s a single-family home or condo and how much work it needs. From there we’ll provide you with a no-obligation, all-cash offer to buy your home in as few as 48 hours.
No need to call the roof inspector or drain your savings to replace the HVAC. HomeLight will provide an offer for homes in almost any condition.
Sell when it’s convenient
Want to get out right away? Or need a little more time to pack? Either way, we’re flexible. Pick a move date that works for your schedule within 30 days of closing.
Close with certainty
Cash buyers don’t need a lender’s involvement to purchase a home, meaning they can move nimbly and quickly compared to someone who needs financing. With Simple Sale, you can close in as little as 10 days, compared to the 30-60 days it typically takes to close with a financed buyer.
Want to know more about the Simple Sale experience? Hear it first hand from one of our valued clients in the video below.
Additional ‘we buy houses’ companies in North Carolina
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the leading companies that purchase homes “as is” for cash in North Carolina and information about each.
For the past eight years, NC Homebuyers has been helping homeowners in the Raleigh, North Carolina area sell their homes for cash. In the last 24 months, they have purchased 159 properties and have closed in an average of eight days. They will purchase any as-is home in the area, regardless of its condition or if it’s in foreclosure.
The company is owned by Kevin Ramirez and is affiliated with Raleigh Cary Realty.
Locations: NC Homebuyers purchases homes in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. This includes all of Durham and Wake counties.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. NC Homebuyers does cover them. There are no fees associated with selling a home to NC Homebuyers.
Reviews: NC Homebuyers is not BBB accredited but does hold an A+ rating. Customer reviews for NC Homebuyers speak to the professionalism and dependability of the company, as well as the overall ease of doing business with them. They expressed satisfaction with the offer price and recommended Kevin and his team to other homeowners in North Carolina seeking an as-is home sale. You can find these reviews on their Google page.
Dependable Homebuyers is a Maryland-based homebuying company that purchases as-is homes in North Carolina for cash. They provide same-day offers and can close in seven days or less depending on the homeowner’s plans and how quickly they need to sell the property. When providing an offer, the company considers the location of the property, what condition it’s in, as well as the values of comparable houses in the area that have sold recently.
Locations: Dependable Homebuyers purchases homes in all 50 states.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Dependable Homebuyers does cover them. There are no fees associated with selling a home to Dependable Homebuyers.
Reviews: Dependable Homebuyers is not BBB accredited but has been in business for nine years and does hold an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Dependable Homebuyers speak to how easy it is to sell a house to the company — even in difficult situations when the house needed work or the seller was located out of state. They expressed satisfaction with the process — including the offer amount — even when it was less than what they would have received if they listed the house for sale through a real estate agent.
Harmony Homebuyers (originally RM Home Solutions) has been purchasing as-is properties in North Carolina since 2018. The company was started by Ryan Whitcher who developed a love of real estate while he was a student at North Carolina State University. The company is located in Charlotte but will work with homeowners throughout the state.
Homeowners can expect an offer within 45 minutes of Harmony Homebuyers conducting a walkthrough of their home. In addition to working with homeowners in a variety of situations (bad tenants, foreclosure, clutter left behind), they provide general home selling advice — including tips on fixing up your home yourself and what to look for when evaluating offers.
Locations: Harmony Homebuyers purchases homes throughout North Carolina.
Fees: Sellers do not pay closing costs. Harmony Homebuyers does cover them. There are no fees associated with selling a home to Harmony Homebuyers.
Reviews: Harmony Homebuyers has been BBB accredited since November 4, 2020, and has an A+ rating. Customer reviews for Harmony Homebuyers speak to the honesty and trustworthiness of the company — who they trusted to guide them in the right direction throughout the sales process. They expressed satisfaction with the knowledge of the Harmony Homebuyers team, as well as how easy and quick the sales process was.
Pros of selling ‘as is’ to an investor
- Save money on home preparations.
- Sell fast — receive an offer in as little as a few days, and close as quickly as one to two weeks later.
- Skip repairs. Most house-buying companies purchase properties in “as is” condition, even those that need major repairs.
- No staging. No repeated showings. No open houses.
- Arrange for a flexible move-out date.
Cons of selling ‘as is’ to an investor
- Offers are likely to be much lower. Investors typically pay 70% of what they estimate to be the home’s after-repair value.
- Sellers will have room to negotiate. Most cash buyer offers are going to be “take it or leave it.”
- Although many home-buying companies are legitimate, some are not. It’s always a good idea to be vigilant about possible scams.
How much will you make from an as-is home sale?
There is no simple equation for calculating how much you’ll net from an “as is” sale. If you list on the market with an agent, you’ll need to account for the cost of agent commissions (around 5.8% on average) and other closing costs such as title fees and taxes, but are likely to field higher offers from buyers and see more competition for the home.
Different types of investors and house-buying companies also offer varying amounts for homes, largely dependent on their exit strategy. While fix ‘n’ flip investors usually pay around 70% of the home’s after-repair value, buy-and-hold investors who plan to rent out your property may be able to pay more. In addition, investors are often willing to cover a seller’s closing costs which can add up to around 1%-3% of the sale price. HomeLight’s net proceeds calculator can be helpful for running through some possible selling scenarios and estimating your take-home pay.
Ready to sell your house in North Carolina?
While every home sale is different, you should now be familiar with the general process of selling a house “as is” in North Carolina. Now, you can begin to weigh which method will work best for you.
Whether you choose to list “as is” with a real estate agent or work with a direct home buyer, a home doesn’t have to be in perfect condition to sell — so long as you provide disclosures as necessary, set the right price, and know what to expect going in. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, HomeLight would be happy to assist with your real estate needs. Connect with a top agent near you or get started with a cash offer from Simple Sale.
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