If you’re hoping to sell your home in 2023, you may be in luck. While higher mortgage rates are making homes even less affordable for buyers, those who are ready and willing to buy a home this year don’t have many homes to choose from.
According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the inventory of existing homes for sale stood at 1.04 million, which amounts to a 2.9-month supply. Since it would take a four-month supply (or more) to equalize the market between buyers and sellers, sellers still have the edge right now.
To that end, you might be feeling a bit reluctant to spend a lot of time and money getting your home in pristine condition before you sell it. After all, with fewer listings, and people still interested in getting a mortgage loan and buying, you may not need to make repairs and upgrades to sell your house. Let’s take a look at a few circumstances in which it could make sense to sell your home as-is — and a few times not to.
If you’re hoping to get your home on the market sooner rather than later, the prospect of not needing to fix or change anything about it could certainly expedite your process — especially if you’re moving for a job or due to financial stress connected to owning the home. Besides, making changes to a property before selling costs money, and you might not want to pump a bunch of cash into a home you’re moving out of.
If you’ve already paid off your mortgage loan and therefore won’t need to make enough on the sale to pay off what’s left, you may be less concerned about getting the absolute best price for the house. This might also be the case if you’re selling a house you inherited from a family member and now own free and clear.
If you live in a hot neighborhood, it could mean you’ll have buyers stepping all over each other to make you an offer, even if the home is dated or needs repairs. Similarly, if your home has “good bones” under that ugly wallpaper and 1980s-era kitchen, you may find a house flipper or other cash buyer willing to pay what you’re asking to get your home as an investment property. And while getting a cash offer may mean getting less money for the home, a cash offer is less likely to fall through, as there’s no mortgage paperwork involved.
Of course, if you opt to go the as-is route, there are some conditions where you may regret it. If you still owe a lot on the mortgage, and home values in your area aren’t up as high as in some cities, you may struggle to find a buyer to offer you enough money to pay off your existing mortgage, cover your costs to sell, and turn a profit.
If your home has issues that go beyond just cosmetic or simple repairs, like serious problems with a major home system (such as the plumbing, foundation, or HVAC), selling it as-is may result in few offers or extremely lowball ones. The buyers who may not mind that wallpaper or 1980s kitchen could disappear if buying your home means shelling out thousands of dollars to fix major problems.
And don’t think you can just keep the bigger problems a secret, because depending on the state you’re in, you may need to fill in a detailed seller’s disclosure form. Most states require a seller to offer information about known problems with a house.
What’s the right choice? Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh the options for yourself. If your home is merely a little dated and just needs some TLC from a new owner, you may not lose out on a lot of money by selling it as-is — and remember, your time is also worthwhile. But if you owe a lot on the mortgage and may not be able to make enough by selling your house in its current condition, or it has major problems, you might need to put some time and money into it ahead of listing it.
This article was written by Ashley Maready from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.