Before putting their homes on the market, some sellers make expensive renovations that may or may not significantly improve the home’s resale value. Other sellers don’t want the hassle and expense of spiffing up their properties, and decide to market a home “as is.” When you see a home that’s being sold in “as is” condition, what exactly does that mean—should you be worried that the property is a money pit? Is an as-is listing a wise strategy for sellers? Here’s what all parties need to know about these two little words. What does “as is” mean, anyway? Historically speaking, when a house was sold “as is” the home was in disrepair, says Katie Falk, partner at the Falk Ruvin Gallagher Team of Keller Williams Realty in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In the current seller’s market, however, the term is not necessarily as negative as it once was. “Selling a house ‘as is,’” Falk explains, “typically means that the seller wants the buyer to accept the condition of the home as it is upon writing an offer to purchase.” This means that the seller does not want to fix anything that may come up during the inspection, she says, nor do they want to engage in negotiations with the buyer. However, buyers who engage in as-is transactions are not necessarily stuck if problems arise. “There are times where an inspection is performed after the offer is accepted on an ‘as is’ property,” Falk says, that “reveal issues that the seller was not aware of, such as a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace or leaks in the basement in an obscure corner.” In those scenarios, she explains, buyers who agreed to purchase a property as-is may request that newly discovered problems be corrected. As Is: The Upside For sellers, the advantage to marketing a house “as is” is they avoid the hassle of costly and time-consuming repairs on the home they’re selling—and buyers know this in advance. Sellers may be “aware of siding that may need to be replaced, masonry work needing repair…scratched hardwood floors, and a need for an exterior paint job,” explains Ellen Schwartz, a licensed associate real estate broker for Compass who works with clients in Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Offering the home “as is,” however, is the seller’s way of acknowledging up front that the house needs work, but they’re not willing to deal with those repairs themselves. Buyers know that the inspection is only for informational purposes, Schwartz adds. Since an as-is home is not necessarily in disrepair, says Falk, sellers can benefit from adding this description to their home’s listing—particularly in a seller’s market, when it’s common to receive offers from multiple buyers. “Along with price and terms is the inspection contingency,” she says. “The seller does not want [the inspection] to be a contingency at all.” In other words, if the inspection reveals problems with the home, the seller still isn’t willing to negotiate the buyer’s original offer. Buyers who willingly enter into as-is deals should be careful about making too many demands of sellers. A real estate transaction “can become prickly,” Falk warns, “if the buyer is requesting repairs and the seller is adamant about not making any changes.”
The Los Angeles home of late fashion designer David Hayes, who famously dressed former First Lady Nancy Reagan, sold on Wednesday for $4.26 million. Located in Beverly Hills, the three-bedroom, five-bathroom residence was originally listed in September for $5.9 million, according to listing records. The house was designed by architect Bob Ray Offenhauser specifically for the designer. Sitting on almost half an acre, it combines European and Asian influences throughout the property. "The rich formal floor plan is timeless and offers a stately lifestyle for those that may enjoy high-class entertaining," Bryce Lowe of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass said in an email. He and Kirby Gillon, also with Aaron Kirman Group, represented the buyers, who they noted are apparel industry executives, but could not be further identified. Toni Schacht of Premier Agent Network represented the Hayes estate. She did not immediately respond to request for comment. Completed in 1982, the home was Hayes’s haven for decades. Behind the gated entry, the property features landscaped grounds and mature plants that shield it from the outside. “Coupled with the privacy in a great neighborhood in Los Angeles, this home is a hidden gem,” Mr. Lowe continued.
Developer Michael Chen said a trip to Big Sur partially inspired him to incorporate nature into the home’s design. A Beverly Hills megamansion with a 15-foot-tall waterfall wall and a monochromatic wine cellar is coming on the market for $65 million. Other features of the pricey mansion: a bridge at the entryway hovers over a man-made stream that runs underneath the entire house and bronze-colored louvers that reflect light. The property also includes a movie theater, a dining room positioned on a skybridge that overlooks a courtyard, an office and a large pool. The property was developed by Luxford Investment Group, a real-estate development company headed by investor Michael Chen. Mr. Chen’s group purchased the site of the property in 2014 for $15 million, records show. He said he spent about six years designing and building the property, which is about 18,200 square feet and has seven bedrooms. He said most of the finishes were flown in from Italy, and an 150-year-old olive tree was flown in from Tuscany as a centerpiece for an interior courtyard.
The newly listed country home, asking £2.25 million, was once part of Christ Church College and comes with rare “witch marks” A U.K. country house with a centuries-old security system “to protect against evil spirits” was listed last week for £2.25 million (US$3.1 million). A series of witch marks can be found throughout the exposed 17th-century wood beams of the house, which is located in the village of Garsington on the edge of Oxford, according to listing agent Samuel Lamb, a senior negotiator at Knight Frank Oxford. “They are quite rare actually,” he said. “They were known to have warded off evil spirits.” The property also was once part of the University of Oxford’s Christ Church College, and served as the kennels for the school’s hunt, Mr. Lamb noted. The Old Kennels, as the home is known, has a Grade II historic designation, which denotes a building of significant architecture. Sitting on just over an acre of land, the home has six bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus a partially converted barn, and former stables and kennel buildings. It boasts period details such as vaulted ceilings in the barn, open fireplaces and a paneled front door believed to date from the 17th century.
A newly constructed Miami Beach estate designed by renowned Italian architect Achille Salvagni is being listed today for $21 million. Mr. Salvagni creates custom furnishings and interiors for luxury properties and yachts and the house “is his masterpiece,” said listing agent Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman. Set on roughly a third of an acre that includes 111 waterfront feet of Miami Beach’s exclusive Surprise Lake, the property features a 90-foot infinity pool at the water’s edge, a private boat dock, patios and covered balconies. The two-level, 7,951-square-foot home, which features six full bathrooms, one half bathroom and seven bedroom suites, has several iconic interior sculptural elements, including a statement bronze staircase and curvilinear walls. Large windows visually connect the two floors and merge the indoor and outdoor spaces. A grand entry gallery leads to a double-height living room and a dining room, which is off the professional chef’s kitchen that features sculptural custom cabinetry adorned with 24-karat gold-leaf detailing.
After an extensive five-year makeover, a London mansion that’s been home to a veritable who’s who of London’s well-to-do has been transformed into a boutique apartment building with prices starting at £1.25 million (US$1.74 million). Formerly home to the likes of Lord Arthur Hobhouse, a High Court judge; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s solicitor; and Oswald Vaughan Lloyd-Davies, a surgeon whose clients included members of the royal family, the Marylebone property’s six apartments hit the market Tuesday with listing agencies Aston Chase and Beauchamp Estates. More: London Luxury Housing Made a Surprising Resurgence in February The units comprise a four-bedroom duplex designed around a central courtyard garden; an “ultimate bachelor pad,” with high ceilings, a balcony and a terrace; a pair of two-bedroom apartments; a three-bedroom spread; and a one bedroom home, according to a news release from the London-based brokerages. The Georgian-era house, now six units, was home to a laundry list of London’s well-to-do