Ask Adam: As-Is Sales

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: We live in Cherrydale and are considering selling next spring. We’ve owned our house for 30+ years, and some parts have rough edges. (80’s kitchen & master bath, 50’s 2nd bath, unfinished basement laundry room). What is your opinion on “as is” sales in this area? I see this as allowing us to keep asking price lower so the new owner can then update to their own taste.

I applaud you for being realistic about the current condition of your house and how the market may react. There are three primary options available to you and you may want to consider them all before making deciding on a strategy.

Tear Down — This can be the easiest option and may be accomplished without even putting your home on the open market. An Arlington agent with a wide network should have a number of builder contacts they can reach out to. You can simply invite them to evaluate the property and tell you what they would be willing to pay for it. If you are not hearing numbers that meet your expectation, then you can also try marketing it as land in the MLS.

Keep in mind that though this is likely the easiest route, it may net you the least money.

Fixer Upper — It sounds like this is the scenario you are leaning towards. It can be a great options if you know your homes is dated and you would prefer to let the next owners make the updates of their choice. You will want to sell the home “as-is” because you don’t want to get stuck making a number of costly repairs as a result of the home inspection, termite inspection, county ordinances, etc..

There isn’t much you need to do to the house in this case, but I recommend investing some time to get a cost estimate of the work that potential buyers may want to have done. It is helpful information for someone who has never priced out a renovation before. A bonus would be to include some renderings of how it could look. In my experience, we humans are limited in our imagination when it comes to a home’s potential. The more you can help us out, the better.

Full Glory — In this scenario you will make the updates yourself. This option has the ability to net you the most profit. There is a reason why some people are able to make a living flipping homes. They have learned that consumers will pay a premium for *tasteful* move-in ready homes. Generally, people living in Arlington are busy and many of us don’t have time to manage a renovation on our own. We would happily pay more to have the home looking and performing well from the time we lay eyes on it.

The first step is to figure out the potential sales price of your home once renovated and the cost to renovate it. You also need to evaluate whether you are able to take on the expense and risk that goes along with this investment. Please also make a serious evaluation as to whether you have the time, skills and resources to properly manage a renovation.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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