This question comes up once in a while from buyers...usually because online the remarks specifically state that it is an estate property, sold as is and with no disclosures.
An estate property is one where the owner of the property is deceased and there is an executor or a power of attorney that will be the one selling the property.
Sometimes, there are multiple siblings involved that are not in the area and there is not just one person to negotiate with....this is a whole different situation! Especially if you cannot get the siblings to agree on price and terms.
Common things that you will find about an estate property are:
The property will have no seller property disclosure available for the buyer. Since the owner is deceased, the only disclosure that is required in the state of Iowa is the lead based paint disclosure, and that is only required if the home was built prior to 1978.
Most of the time, these homes are listed in as is condition. This however does not mean that the seller can be exempt from making necessary repairs to transfer the property. If there is an active termite infestation or the septic system is not up to current code, the seller MUST repair and remedy these items in order to sell the property in Iowa. Also, radon mitigation is another required fix if it is requested by the buyer in the purchase contract.
When you are offering on a property that states that it is being sold AS IS, there will be as AS IS Addendum that the buyer is required to sign. On this addendum there are two options:
1, The buyer understands that inspections are meant for their own knowledge and may not be used to ask for a lower price or repairs on the property. If there is a major structural or mechanical issue that was unforeseen prior to the purchase, the buyer may void the contract and the earnest money will be returned to the buyer.
2. The buyer understands the inspections are meant for their own knowledge and the buyer CANNOT void the contract due to anything that they find in the inspections of the property.
The listing price is lower than market value for comparable properties. This is not always the case, since there can be siblings that want to list the home higher to be able to negotiate. But most of the time, the property is less due to the need for many updates that will be necessary for the new buyer including replacement of older mechanicals and appliances, dated carpet and other flooring.
There are advantages to purchasing an estate property. You can get a really great property in a great neighborhood for less than the average and all it needs is to be cosmetically updated from "grandma's house" to your new home.
Call me to arrange for an inital home buyer consultation where will discuss of the housing options in your price range and loan approval requirements.