Buyer beware! A bargain price equals "as-is" with dirt and debris!

Real Estate Agent with ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County 200509394

dirty shower stall

In the current climate of lower priced homes, foreclosures and absentee sellers I see many homes being sold with a fair amount of clean up necessary. Buyer's need to be aware that what they see during the initial showing of a home is likely what they are offering on. The seller is not going to magically appear and clean it in preparation for the closing unless it is specifically required by the contract.

When I list a home like this, I have the seller hire a cleaning company, or sometimes I will even get in there with a bottle of bleach and a scrub brush and do it myself.

When I represent a buyer on a home like this, I make sure the buyer asks for the cleanup on an addendum, or is willing to don a pair of cleaning gloves after close.

I sell homes in Lincoln County, a beautiful, coastal vacation area where many of the listings are second homes with various reasons for selling:  Out of state heirs liquidating a vacation home held by a trust, older clients heading for warmer climes, and we see quite a few short sales and foreclosures as well. The expectation of a sparkling-clean bargain home at closing can be unrealistic.

The time to ask for repairs, pest control, clean bathrooms, old furniture and debris removed and all appliances to be in working condition at close of escrow, is at the time of offer, or during the inspection period on a written addendum, prior to the release of the inspection contingency.

The seller may, or may not agree to the buyer's written request. However, once the buyer removes all contingencies, they are buying the house as-is.

Posted by

Your Coastal Realtor in Oregon

Comments (6)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Barbara, yes, the home inspection contingency is the key. Once the deadline is passed, the buyers are buying the home 'as-is'.

Jan 29, 2012 10:34 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I always talk about this issue with buyers. Some sellers are great about cleaning up and others leave a mess behind. And in a short sale or REO there is no expectation the home will be left clean and free to trash, etc. eve if oyu ask in the contract.


Jan 29, 2012 10:55 AM
Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Barbara, often times when you are getting a bargain  basement price in a REO or a short sale some issues may be overlooked, and broom clean is not an issue.

Jan 29, 2012 01:08 PM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

Praful, Yes indeed! That was the point I was trying to make. I hear about "walk throughs" the day before closing, a good idea, however, I feel it is too late if you have not taken care of it by the end of inspection.

Jan 29, 2012 02:35 PM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

Jeff, You have a good point as well as Praful, I am suggesting to buyers to discuss all issues with an agent before the inspection period ends. You never know what a seller will do. Short sales and REO's are in a whole different category when it comes to what is considered clean, isn't it? Thanks for visiting!

Jan 29, 2012 02:39 PM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

Carlotta, I agree! Buyers should not expect too much when the price is as low as it goes. However, if the REO is my listing, it is more than just broom clean when it changes hands as I clean it before it is listed. Thanks for stopping by!

Jan 29, 2012 02:42 PM