Selling Poinciana One Property at a Time.: "As Is" Always means MAYBE!

"As Is" Always means MAYBE!

Florida Foreclosure

Hi folks. Today I want to talk a little bit about "As Is" contracts. A read an article titled "As Is" contracts mean maybe? I completely agree with the title but disagree with the content and most of the comments. The article is about a Buyer asking for repairs even though they agreed to an "As Is" sale. My disagreement is based on people stating that the buyers, because they asked for repairs, are:

  • Greedy
  • Not following the Golden Rule
  • Petty
  • Extremely Selfish
  • Raping and pilaging
  • Greedy little worms

OK enough of that. You'll just have to go read the post and the comments. I'm not making this stuff up.

Let's get back to the topic of what "As Is" really means and how we as agents can prepare our Sellers and Buyers to avoid issues later. First, I need to remind you that I am a Florida Broker. Your contracts and laws may vary. But whatever they are be sure to learn them. Look them up and read them. If you don't understand them then seek legal advice. 

In fact, if what I explain here is completely different than in your area come back and post the law or clause in the contract that's different so we can all learn. OK?

In Florida, "As Is" means the Seller is not agreeing to do any repairs and that the Buyer has the right to inspect and then can either accept the property or reject the property and get their deposit back. In most cases the Buyer will decide to ask for the repairs to be done or ask for a monetary compensation.

We have 2 different "As Is" clauses depending on which contract you use. Both give the buyer the right to inspect and cancel the contract. The one most commonly used is this one:

As Is Real Estate Clause

Now I don't know about you but if I were a Seller I would much rather the Buyer ask me for repairs than just cancel the contract. Wouldn't you?

The Seller also has an obligation in Florida to disclose as follows:

Florida Real Estate Disclosure

So we need to inform our Sellers at time of listing about disclosing everything AND make sure they understand the Buyers may very well ask for repairs even though it's an "As Is" contract.

When an offer is made it is our job to have the Buyer sign off on the Seller's disclosure. Basically what this does is tell the Buyer right upfront what's wrong with the property. If an issue is NOT on the disclosure and comes out during the inspection then the Buyer has every right to ask the Seller to fix it or give a cash credit.

So....."As Is" means to the Buyer, "As long as the inspection doesn't bring to light any issues that you haven't disclosed then we agree to accept the property in "As Is" condition."

"As is" to the Seller means, "Here's a list of everything I know to be wrong with the property. I am not going to fix any of these items. However if the inspection uncovers other issues we can negotiate."

Now if we explained "As Is" to our customer/clients like this wouldn't it make things so much easier? And isn't this a truer picture of what "As is" really means? I believe it is. What say you?

 

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Comment balloon 109 commentsBryant Tutas • August 23 2012 04:00AM

Comments

Good information for buyers. I had witten  similar port about As Is clauses. It does not mean that buyers will get the house as is with furniture included. One buyer actually thought so when they made an offer on my listing.

Suggested.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 7 years ago

We've had a recent change in our contracts regarding  the 2 different types of home inspections.  One has a right to negotiate for repairs (Specific) and the other (General) says the buyer takes it or leaves it with "no right to negotiate" (ie walk away or not). 

Posted by Debbie Cook, Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) almost 7 years ago

As is contracts are pretty easy to understand.  Still, I believe it is human nature to ask for more.  You are right - "As is" doesn't always mean "as is."

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Great post Bryant.  This aspect of Florida real estate is often the most misunderstood.  Often by agents as well as consumers.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 7 years ago

Bryant, wish we had those definitions in our contracts.  As is always means maybe until someone else says no.  And yes, I'll bet the seller would rather the buyer ask for repairs then cancel the contract.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) almost 7 years ago

BB, on the whole, our attorneys write the contracts. Although they are basically the same, there can be differences. But I have not seen one that didn't give the buyer a right to withdraw because of inspection issues. We write that in the offer to purchase. "To buyers satisfaction" with a time limit, like 3-5 days after the inspection is done.

Of course, not always. Take a foreclosure, some insist we use their contracts, and the contract may say "as is". I have not run across one that didn't give the buyer time to get out during the inspection period however.

And when faced with the fact that they probably can't sell the house because of some defect, they can relent and fix it.

So as Mona said in #5, until someone says no. That's what "as is" is here.

And because we are in a different situation here than you are in FL, often time seeing "as is" puts up a big ole fat red flag. And it scares the pants off of some buyers.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 7 years ago

Excellent article! Ours too has an "as is" clause but also an inspection clause which basically gives the buyer 3 options. 1. take it as is 2. ask the seller to make repairs 3. buyers can terminate if the they find a material, latent defect.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 7 years ago

It's hard to say where the problem is, with the buyers, the sellers or the agents. My vote is for the agents! We must know what our sales contracts say, the law and the case-law about the subject.

This is a good start!

Bill

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 7 years ago

Bryant, Thanks for your input on the "As Is" here in Florida. I too am of the mind set that "As Is", especially when the Seller's disclosure is completed, means As Is. If there are glaring deficiencies or problems, they should have been disclosed in the Seller's Disclopsure, and if they are subsequently found during the inspection period and made known to the Seller, those should then be either disclosed to any future buyers or corrected. The biggest variable is the home inspector used and the level of scrutiny used when a property is inspected. Inspections are performed to give the buyer a non-biased, professional opinion of the current condition of their proposed purchase so that they are aware of possible areas of concern. No property, regardless of age, is in perfect condition top to bottom. If there is one, I haven't come across it yet. There will always be those who believe a signed contract is a great place to start negotiations. Great post, already suggested.

Posted by Bill Gustafson almost 7 years ago

"As-is" in California means that it is just a head's up to the buyer that the seller is not willing to make any repairs.  Basically, it means that if something is found in the inspection period, the buyer can easily avoid the contract.

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) almost 7 years ago

I think what Bryant has highlighted here is the glaring truth that real estate transactions are like snow flakes, no two transactions will be the same.  The AS IS clause in either the respective state's contracts or the sellers' addendums in the case of REO's is open to interpretation by every person invloved in the transaction, which is contrary to what we as people understand to be the nature of a signed contract (something that removes interpretation from the equation).  I have had buyers offer the "It never hurts to ask" theory so many times, and the results are about 50/50.  On the other hand, the asset managers I have worked with for some of our REO accounts also offer a mixed approach once receiving a request.  It can be an immediate, "Tell them to send us their written cancellation, this is as is," or, "Tell them no, but if it becomes an issue, offer them $1000, and let me know what they say, but DO NOT let the deal fall apart". We as agents obviously would love the path to least resistance once a client is under contract, and the As-Is conversation threatens that path. Ultimately, your fiduciary duty dictates what needs to be done, act in the sole best interests of your client, irrespective of your personal opinion about what AS-IS really means.

Posted by Daniel Walsh (Re/Max of Santa Clarita) almost 7 years ago

I just met on a property with ten siblings involved, none living there, being sold "as is" by the trust.  Everything is a fantastic challenge these days, but I still believe many things are negotiable.  Great post.

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) almost 7 years ago

Bryant - I could not agree with you more, I have had countless buyer's ask for repairs on an "as-is" contract and as you mentioned I rather have a buyer ask for repairs than just walk away, EVERYTHING is negotiable.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 7 years ago

Bryant, Buyers always ask for repairs on AS IS ! Your explanation is perfect and over here in TX the seller usually will do some repairs even if he is adamant about AS IS in the beginning, except banks. They definitely don't repair !

Posted by Tracy Lee Parker, Buy*Sell*Lease (RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT) almost 7 years ago

BB -

This is exactly the way that it is supposed to work in MA, but seldom does.  Unfortunately, many agents fail to recognize that, unless disclosed otherwise, all homes are sold "as is" and "with the (material) disclosures having been received (in writing) at the time the offer was submitted."

What often happens is that the buyer decides he wants the home to be in better condition than it currently is, and whether he is advised by his agent to do so or not, uses the home inspection to re-negotiate the contract and purchase price.

So, if you are buying a home with a 20 year old roof and the inspector says it has 5-10 years of usable life left, that's what you've agreed to buy.  If the roof is found to be leaking at the time of the inspection, and it was disclosed, that's what you are buying.  If, like you said, the seller doesn't disclose that the roof leaks, the buyer may have the right to rescind the contract unless the seller is willing to undertake the necessary repairs or offer a monetary concession.

Home warranties are a wonderful thing.  We use them consistently for both buyer and seller clients.  Home warranties take a lot of "as is" issues off of the table because it isn't reasonable for a buyer to try to request repairs when the home warranty covers major systems and appliances for the first 12 months of ownership if they are functional at the time of the offer to purchase and the home inspection. 

Posted by Virtual Realty Consultants, Making the American Dream a Reality (Virtual Realty Consultants LLC) almost 7 years ago

I totally agree ...

I had a contract on a property that was scheduled to close after a hurricane and the "busy" real estate agent insisted that the buyer bought the property "as is'" so she thought the the buyer needed to take the house with the newly broken windows, no screens and trees down...

Eve in Orlando

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 7 years ago

Hi - I really liked Daniel' response.. it might state "As Is" but we must act of behalf of our clients and the answers are going to vary..

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) almost 7 years ago

Bryant,

In NY most properties are sold "AS IS" We don't have disclosure packets. Our only disclosure forms required to be signed by buyer and seller are agency disclosure and lead paint disclosure.

NY Contracts contains "as is" language - "official notice" of the property's condition. The purchaser must rely upon its own investigation, rather than upon the Seller's representations, with respect to the condition of the property.

"Seller makes no representation as to the physical condition or state of repair of the Unit, the personality, the included interests or the premises. Purchaser has inspected or waived inspection of the unit, the personality and included interest and shall take the same "as is", as of the date of this contract, except for reasonable wear and tear. However at the time of the closing, the appliances and fixtures shall be in working order and required smoke detector(s) shall be installed and operable".

The basic theory in New York real property law is "caveat emptor," meaning, "let the buyer beware." This theory is supported by the principal that a seller has no duty to speak when the parties deal at arms length; the mere silence on the part of a seller without some act or conduct that amounts to concealment is not actionable. Therefore, unless a seller takes affirmative action that prevents a buyer from determining the existence of an adverse condition (i.e., painting over a wall that is the subject of constant leaks), a buyer has no recourse against a seller on account of that condition.

In NY all negotiations, inspections do diligence must take place before the contract is signed. Do diligence is the buyer's responsibility. Everything is negotiable but the only contingency in many contracts is financial. Once signed contracts are clad. At the final walk through if the property condition changed from the time contract was signed then seller must make repairs or credit buyer.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) almost 7 years ago

I really like the way you explained what "As Is" means to the buyers and seller's.  Thank you.

Posted by Debora Nichols, Realtor Anthem,Phoenix,Scottsdale,Glendale,Peoria (Residential Sales, Purchases, Investors, Vacation Homes) almost 7 years ago

Here in NY, a buyer does a home inspection before contract. If the home is not acceptable being in AS-IS condition, they can walk away. I had a buyer try to get credits after the home inspection and we said no. They still bought it and we are under contract.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) almost 7 years ago

I'm in an As-Is nightmare right now, Bryant.  To one side it's "Here it is, take it or leave it."  The other side says, "Yeah, but I want this fixed before I agree to buy your house."  It's as-is folks.  Obviously that means different things to different people.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 7 years ago

My neighbor just sold his house with an "As is" clause in it.  The buyer had a Home Inspection performed and he found a few small things.  My new neighbor after tomorrow is getting a great home...because they decided the minor repairs did not outweigh trying to renegotiate the agreed upon contract.

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 7 years ago

In Texas, The buyer is basing their "as is" on "as the home is disclosed on your seller's disclosure.".  Example: After inspections,  Seller complains "The contract said As is" when  the buyer wants the wood rot repaired. When looking at the seller's disclosure it states that there is no wood rot. Hello. The house is not as it was disclosed. Okay! So you didn't know about that little bit of wood rot.  Neitger did the buyer and now that they do, they have asked for repairs. Now it's up to the seller to decide whether or not they want to do comply. Its purely business.  Don't be angry at the buyer because the house was found to have wood rot.  

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) almost 7 years ago

Our California contract basically says that the house is being purchased “as is” subject to the buyer’s satisfaction with the condition of the property. That is a contingency of the contract. The buyer has the right to review the seller’s disclosures, statutory disclosures, and inspection reports. The buyer may try to negotiate repairs but the seller is under no obligation to make any repairs. The buyer may decide to buy the house or not based upon its condition and within the time limits the contingency.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) almost 7 years ago

John in #25 explained "As Is" in CA.  It's like Florida's.  In Silicon Valley the seller usually has pre-sale inspections completed, plus seller disclosures, mandatory disclosures, HOA Docs and HOA certification.  Everything.  They're all posted online or e-mailed to the selling agent for the buyer's review and acceptance prior to submission of their offer.  The buyer understands what they're getting and are less likely to ask for repairs on an As Is sale or cancel the transaction.  Try it...you'll like it.  This procedure evolved about 15 years ago because listing agents got tired of negotiating repairs after contract ratification.  The seller pays alot for inspections, but they're selling expensive homes.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) almost 7 years ago

Seems pretty clear to me..........why would there be any question?

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 7 years ago

Great comments everyone. Almost all of the properties in my area are being sold "as is". but still buyers are coming back asking for repairs. Sometimes the seller agrees and sometimes the deal falls apart.

We tell our buyers to expect to have to put $5,000 in the property (assuming it's in decent condition). We write the offers accordingly.

Thanks to all for stopping by.

 

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Bryant, 

Love the way you walk through AS-IS.  We have been using the Due Diligence option for 5-6 years years in GA and it works great.  What I find is that we usually at least ask unless the Buyers have just truly changed their mind upon learning a defect.  Then, after we have passed the Due Diligence phase, the Buyers are mentally good on buying the property as they had the opportunity to look deeper prior to a TOTAL commitment.  

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good post Bryant.

I had the Florida "As Is" contract used in a different way.

An agent representing a local attorney who was representing out of country buyers, put multiple offers in on luxury homes to hold them until the lawyer could contact his buyers. He then used the cancellation wording to walk away. They essentially took properties off the market for 7 days.

I no longer accept AS IS offers.

Posted by Mike Kozlow, Broker (Mike Kozlow Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Not to be overly KW or anything...but it NEVER hurts to ask if at the end of the day the transaction is a "win" for ALL parties!

Another excellent post BB!!

Posted by Lisa Moroniak, SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified (Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388) almost 7 years ago

Yup, "as-is" constitutes a "maybe-close"

Seller's can not afford to be to hard headed when it comes to offers these days.  Many of our buyers are coming from markets which are down further than ours, expecting to steal something.  Some sellers need to be educated to that mindset and buyers should understand the market they are entering.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) almost 7 years ago

You are right-on Bryant.

I had a sales contract, very recently, where it was my buyer and my listing. The buyer wrote an As-Is contract and the inspection turned up a Radon issue. The seller never had the property tested and didn't know about it. The buyer was willing to make the little nickel-dime repairs we expected but Radon mitigation was much more. So, we asked for the seller to mitigate and re-test. Exactly what he did and everyone was happy.

Since the seller now knows about the issue it was a simple decision, fix it for this buyer, fix it for the next buyer, or disclose it and hope for the best!

Posted by Bob Pisa, Broker Associate, Commitment, Service, Satisfaction... (Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. Naples, FL) almost 7 years ago

Great post!

Posted by Randy Poll (Greenridge Realty Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Great article as it clearly explains the rights of both Buyers and Sellers and as log as it is clearly explained to all parties, it's a no brainer !!!

In NJ it is clearly stated on the contract that the property is being sold "As Is" subjuct to a home inspection

Posted by Hope Rosenberg -Broker/Owner- (Century 21 Norma Altman Realtors) almost 7 years ago

Great point, same thing here in MN!

Posted by Matthew Johnson (Keller Williams Premier Realty) almost 7 years ago
Absolutely agree!
Posted by Lisa Ackerson, CRS - Dallas Fort Worth Area Expert (Fathom Realty DFW) almost 7 years ago

This is very helpful info for having that conversation with our buyers and sellers. There are so many gray areas in real estate and clarifying the details and some of the possible scenerios can help prevent some of the confusion and upset down the road with our clients.  Thank you for this great post!

Posted by Rebecca Riopelle, Broker Associate & REALTOR® (BLINK Realty Group) almost 7 years ago

I don't use the term "as is."  Instead, I always state "as disclosed" in my offers.  You are right, I would prefer a buyer asking for repairs or a price reduction rather than just cancel.  All purchase agreements are by default agreements to buy the property in its present condition unless stated otherwise.  Stating "as is" or "as disclosed" does not really add anything other than maybe making it clear that the buyer understands that he/she is not entitled to repairs.  Unless a defect is obvious, a buyer can't request specific repair items in the initial offer.

Posted by Ute Ferdig, Because Getting It Right Matters! (Ferdig Real Estate Solutions) almost 7 years ago

What would happen if the "as is" was tied to a phrase added to the agreement that said the contract would automatically terminate withiut recourse to either party and with full refund of deposit monies to buyer if repairs were asked for on any "as is" purchase?  Buyers would then be spending inspection money knowing full well that "as is" MEANT "as is."

Posted by Buddy Pope, THE POPE OF REALTY (BEAN GROUP) almost 7 years ago

Great post Bryant, and as the Californians have commented, it is all pretty clear in our contract and disclosures.  One distinction though, is the difference between a short sale and a traditional sale.  In a short sale, the seller is generally not in a financial position to pay for any repairs, and if the bank has approved the short sale at a certain net price, it is extremely rare that they will either credit the buyer or pay for any repairs. 

When listing a short sale, I require an addendum that the buyer must include with their offer.  The addendum, among other things, states "Property is sold in "As-Is" condition as no repairs will be made by Seller or Seller's lender."  It also states, "Buyer acknowledges that termite and any other inspections, reports, and clearances may not be paid for by the Seller's lien holder and as such, payment for these items by the lender is not a condition of sale."  I learned the importance of including these clauses from short sale wizard Melissa Zavala and have never had an issue in my short sales as the buyers know going in that in this case "As-Is" means exactly that. 

Posted by Marti Steele Kilby, CRS, Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA (Steele Group Realty) almost 7 years ago

Bryant,

We usually use the term “as is” for short sales and REO properties in Vermont. If a property is inspected and something shows up that was not seen before (like mold from a leaky pipe) the buyer can terminate or as the seller for compensation. There later is the norm. I agree with you that the sellers would rather bend that lose the sale.

 

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Great article Bryant.  I have run into this situation multiple times and it has been my experience that as long and the buyer and seller are made aware of the possible outcomes they are usually willing to negotiate and come to an agreement.  Thank you for posting.

Posted by Sandra Hopkins, Realtor® , Associate Broker (Keller Williams American Premier Realty) almost 7 years ago

I believe that as you said, the key to success is preparing the buyer to have the right expectations. This can keep them from wasting their time and money on inspections on a home that will not appraise "as is" if they are planning on a FHA loan.

Posted by Gina Mounce, Showing You the Triad! (Keller Williams Realty) almost 7 years ago

Well stated.

Posted by Tom Waite, So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments (Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker) almost 7 years ago

I would disagree with you on the meaning of AS Is in your summary.  Many buyers agents use the repairs as a tool to get a lower price (the Appraisal too) for the property after submitting a high bid to win the acceptance from the seller in bidding wars.  This is the mentality I look for in buyer agents when speaking with my sellers.  Comment #4 on the post you are referring spoke of a Fannie Mae AS Is deal.  The roof was blown off after the deal was accepted.  This is way I use the the date in the contact with the AS IS clause.  The property is being sold in AS IS condition as of 8/24/2012.  If something were to change, like the roof being blown off after 8/24/2012...well that will have to be fixed.  AS IS is AS IS at the time of offering.  Nobody knows everything about a property, even an owner living in it for years.  An inspector will miss an item were another inspector will catch or discover an item missed by others.  My point is folks: look at the condition of the property going into it from the beginning. If it is in poor condition, your buyers will have to spend some money to fix up, you knew it going in, expect it upon closing.  That's why your offer was the price it was going in.  Don't ask for $300 in repairs that were not on a TDS. I consul my sellers very carefully to disclose everything they know about the property, on the other hand I do the same with the buyer agent because they may find items during the inspection the sellers may not have known about but it's still being sold in AS IS condition as of 8/23/2012.  The condition was such on the acceptance date, understand it and live with it..  Only one buyer, I understand the other side will use this to their advantage to have some repairs done, but I believe they are changing the rules agreed to going in.  I understand the other list agents frustration on the post but having an understanding with the buy side from the beginning abut what AS IS means to THIS DEAL will make the closing go as planned. Disclosure, health and safety issues are excluded and will be brought to code.   

Posted by Michael Blue, REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad (Home Smart Realty West) almost 7 years ago

Unfortunately, most buyers and their agents seem to think an inspection is an opportunity to totally renegotiate the contract!  When a contract has been executed and accepted by all parties, it means the buyer is accepting the property in its present condition - at least according to the Texas contract.  If a buyer wants a "perfect" house, then they need to stick with new construction so the builder is responsible for any deficiency.  A resale is not going to be perfect, there will be changes to building codes that the home will not meet, and most likely some repair and cosmetic issues.  It is up to the buyer's Realtor and inspector to explain the findings of the report, and hopefully keep the buyer realistic about deficiencies. 

I recently had a deal fall through because the inspector indicated there was a foundation problem, even though the seller had a structural engineering report indicating the foundation was functioning perfectly and small cracks were the result of normal settling.  The inspector didn't believe the engineering report because it was one year old.  The engineer came back and said there has been no change in the year since the original inspection.  The inspector also claimed there was "termite infestation", which turned out to be very limited termite activity which was easily remedied with no structural damage, and the house has been treated!  In this case, the inspector scared off the potential buyer.  A shame, because they were getting the house well below market value.

Posted by Debra Chiarello, Deb Chiarello (Retired) almost 7 years ago

That is an excellent way to explain it.  My buyers always look at me puzzled when I explain how it works.  So what does it mean they ask.  So I let them read the rider and then explain if something does come up I will still make the request.  Luckily our rider is very easy to understand here in CT. Thanks Bryant

Posted by Jeremy Joslin, Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

You are right on target.  I can't tell you how many times a Realtor or owner has told me "it's being sold as is so...".  So what?  My job is not based on the terms of the agreement.  I am always there to inform my clients and never to negotiate terms.  I also agree with you regarding buyer's concerns.  I'd rather have the opportunity to make some concession than lose the deal outright.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) almost 7 years ago

As always - a great article Bryant!  That photo reminds me of many, many homes I have appraised in the last couple of years around Central Florida!! 

Posted by Richard D. Ferris, Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser (AmcAppraisalsinc.com) almost 7 years ago

Point well taken.  "As Is" sends a message to the buyer that the seller is firm...yet in the final analysis when something is discovered that was not known it's completely reasonable to request repair or credit.  Since a deal is much closer to closing that seeking a new buyer, most sellers will cooperate.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Frank Castaldini, Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco (Compass) almost 7 years ago

....Yes, in Florida, and the rest of the universe, at least from a common-sense point of view! I agree with you totally, and that was the point of the comment that I made to the article in question. No one gains anything when the buyer just walks away, without even trying. It should go without saying, that any seller, who is thinking rationally rather than just reacting emotionally, would at least appreciate the opportunity to entertain the idea of making a few repairs, as an alternative to killing the deal! And it is our job as listing agents to prepare our client, beforehand, and hopefully fortify him with a dose of that "rationality", in the event that such a scenario does come up.

Posted by Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc., 28 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area (Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

AS IS, Case-by-Case, Maybe, etc. Whenever one party feels like things are as they should be from their perspective, they will request what they feel will make it right or acceptable.  That is the nature of negotiation.  The agents involved need to remain neutral and do as they are instructed by either party since it isn't there decision to do or not do.  Educating your clients upfront will most always help lessen the types of requests that are just unreasonable.  

Posted by Sharon Curtiss, Search for Ocean City Maryland Area Homes for Sale (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty) almost 7 years ago

 

Hi Bryant, great topic, I think the “as is” clause is a point to be taken as a negotiating of inspection issues. Something will always turn up in the report so get used to it. I advise my sellers, assuming they are realistic and the situation warrants it, to offer a monetary settlement. For the buyer, are they willing to accept the “as is”. I purchase my home knowing there were 3 layers of tiles on the roof, NOT LEGAL. But the value exceeded the cost of replacement and roof was good for some 5-7 years. Agents in N.J. are responsible to make sure the Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement is accurate because both the Seller’s agent and Buyer’s agent have to sign that document. We are required to visually look for water damage, foundation cracks, and anything else we see to make sure it is listed on that report.

 

Posted by Peter Banyan Broker Associate (REMAX Fortune Properties) almost 7 years ago

That is the facts about as is! 

Posted by Fred Sweezer Sr., Certified Home Inspector (Hud Certified 203K Consultant) almost 7 years ago

Great post, Bryan - you've stimulated agents across the country to add thoughtful comments.    Marti #41 brings up important points about short sales too.

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) almost 7 years ago

as is means ... let's negotiate ... and lose the deal ... 

or

as is means ... we will do the repairs

or

as is means .... the buyer will do the repairs

or 

as is means .... we will take it anyway

or 

could go on and on

 

but CA contracts are written as AS-IS also ... really does not mean much 

Posted by Lehel Szucs, REALTOR of choice (All Seasons Real Estate, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

That is a prime example of "a picture says a thousand words".  Wow.  That is actually beyond words.

Thanks for the post and picture.

Posted by Gretchen Bradley (Realty Source Inc.) almost 7 years ago

We have an as is clause, but our Texas contract also gives the buyer and seller an Option Period.  This allows the buyer to pay an small option fee to the seller (based on what they negotiate) for a certain number of days (again negotiable.)  During this time the buyer gets all necessary inspections.  Once the inspections have been completed the buyer can either go through with the contract as is or terminate the contract.  If the buyer terminates the contract, the seller keeps the option fee and returns the earnest money to the buyer.  The only time I usually see a renegotiation of the contract is when it is a government insured loan.  Then the seller is usually agreeable to making the necessary repairs in order to make the home qualify for the loan.

Posted by Carolyn Shipp, Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate (Source 1 Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Most of the "as-is" situations here arise from short sales or foreclosures. Those sellers are loath to do any repairs, and even "force" the buyer to sign their own set of docs stating as-is as part of the sale.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) almost 7 years ago

The various properties that I fix & flip are always sold as-is.  But I tell every agent that if the buyer finds issues, not to cancel the contract.  Just tell me what they are and I will consider addressing them.  Buyers are just people and sellers are people (except maybe in the case of banks). 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

As always, I really enjoy reading your post and re-blogged this one.  This topic has been coming up often lately and you're absolutely right - I don't let a couple repairs sink a deal.  Many times it's just explaining the situation properly and using the right words to keep things running smoothly and keep everyone calm.  It doesn't have to be us against them, it's everyone working together so that all parties getting what they want.

Posted by David & Lisa Webber, www.webberteam.com (RE/MAX Executive) almost 7 years ago

John #25 and Lloyd #26 described what occurs in CA. However, not all sellers do pre-list inspections, nor do many post disclosures in advance. So the contract may say "As-Is", but when the sellers don't disclose items that prove to be big expenses, they should not be surprised when repairs are requested. A roof deemed unserviceable and active termite infestation are not easily dismissed items. I'm dealing with this right now on a transaction. The listing agent seems to think the back-up buyer will just step in. Well, I don't know. Those inspection reports are now disclosures and very likely will be an issue for any subsequent buyer and their lender as well.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Great post, Bryant.  Thanks so much for for bringing it to everyone's attention.  Even when buyers see As Is, tey usually end up wanting everything done, including painting a patch on the wall.  Have a GREAT weekend!

Posted by Rosalie Frankel (Dominion Real Estate Partners) almost 7 years ago

Excellent post!  Here in southern Oregon we treat AS IS the same way as Florida, apparently.  One thing most folks don't realize though is that if a Buyer comes back with a repair demand, that reopens negotiation on the entire contract!  While these days it would seem silly for a seller to want to back out of a deal, there's always the chance that a better back up offer had come in.

Also, AS IS means that the seller can't turn the place into a landfill after accepted offer, or stop watering the lawn...

Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) almost 7 years ago

There was a recent that essentially said, "The inspection doesn't mean you can renegotiate the contract."  And of course, this is not the case.  Asking for repairs is not the same as renegotiating the contract and a buyer has every right to ask for repairs.  It doesn't mean the seller will make the repairs, but certainly a buyer can ask.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) almost 7 years ago
As is isn't necessarily about fixing something on the house. If there is a possible dispute about property lines that the seller discloses and suggests a survey be done but he is not willing to pay for it.
Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) almost 7 years ago

What a great post. It was interesting to learn from others comments how things are done outside of CA. For instance NY, I had no idea their practice was so different than ours.

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) almost 7 years ago

Ok, contract say's As-is, when my buyers want to negotiate on repairs..guess what...I contact the sellers agent and negotiate on my buyers concerns. I represent the buyers.  In my opinion the seller(s) can consider our offer or just say no!

Posted by Jimmy Williams (352) 874-2354, Lake and Western Orange County Real Estate Expert! (Classic VI Realty) almost 7 years ago

Disclosure is the key.  Just had a difficult closing when at the end the buyer wanted the 'personal belongings' removed from the property and the interior cleaned.  Seller refused, saying that he sold it "as is".  Yes he signed the contract, and it DID say that the property must be turned over "after cleaning".  IN the end, he wanted me to PAY the $800 FOR the cleaning and old furniture removal!  The very last day, the seller gave in and agreed to paying.

Posted by Bruce Hicks, Your Lifetime Friend/Helper! (Best Homes Hawaii) almost 7 years ago

AS-IS doesn't mean much at all in California. Everything is negotiable until the buyer removes all of their contingencies.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 7 years ago

One other way that I've found that "AS IS" isn't really "as is" is when the appraisal comes back with contingencies ie., bring the roof back to "average" and the seller has to do that or the buyer cannot buy.   It becomes a negotiation point not a buy it or leave it point.    Good luck in your neck of the woods!   Shanna

Posted by Gina Gomez almost 7 years ago

Great Blog Post! In Michigan it is very similar.

I agree fully with everything stated. I would feel very discouraged if I had a listing that got under contract, buyers had inspections and backed out because of inspections. Lets say in the MLS we did list it as an "As-Is" home. These buyers that backed out, did this because there was a suspicious live wire sticking out of breaker box.

Number 1: I am most POSITIVE my sellers would have wanted this information as this is a HUGE fire hazard.

Number 2: Could have been an easy $50-100 fix, and now we lost buyers because of it.

So in the end, while I go to several listing appointments where sellers state with emphasize that it be listed "As-IS", I then describe this scenario and they understand fully!

Posted by Justin Peck (Miller Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I like the way you described it and that is basically the way it works in CA. I am a lender and it always blows me away when listing agents try and tell me that we should not be worried about large issues because it is an As-Is sale.... we lenders still have issues when say there is NO KITCHEN!  That listing agent actually said it was an As - Is sale AND it was a conventional loan so it should be no issue and that his lender would do it.... I said do it and lo and behold, they did not do it either - SHOCKER!

Great post, have fun out there!

Posted by Hans Bruhner, Sonoma County Home Loans (First Priority Financial) almost 7 years ago

"As is" for my clients typically means the the physical condition of the home. However the buyer still has a due diligence period to make sure that there are not other hidden defects or permit problems. Currently one of my agents is dealing with a home that has permit violations that would require portions of the home to be removed or rebuilt with permits. This was not disclosed by the seller or listing agent. Obviously the offer was made based on the known condition of the home.

Posted by Jerry Heard (The San Diego Property Shop) almost 7 years ago

I'd bet that even in specific states... where people have stated here exactly what "as-is" means... that two different Realtors would interpret that differently. Great post. Know the laws in your area and do your best to explain things completely before the parties go under contract.

 

Posted by Monica Hill, the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware (RE/Max Associates) almost 7 years ago

Hi BB,  Sort of a tangent here.  I had a seller ask me what they had to disclose to the buyer.  When I explained it he decided to do a FSBO.  We chatted about it and he felt that he had no obligation to disclose anything to a potential buyer but with an agent he felt he had the obligation !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 7 years ago

Great post and and even better suggestion from Marti #41.  I will incorporate that addendum to all my short sale listing!

Posted by Todd Johnson, Broker to the Boomers! (Real Property Concepts) almost 7 years ago

From a lender standpoint: The contract maybe written "as is" but if there is a loan and the appraiser has requirements on the appraisal then the issues need to be cured prior to closing.

Posted by Joe LaVallie, 111363 (HomeStreet Bank) almost 7 years ago

Sellers too often thin that AS-IS is a license to steel and defraud. Buyers have a right to know what they are agreeing to. They have a right to full disclosure of known conditions (at least in my state). And yes, buyers have the right to ask for repairs, or they can walk from the contract. . . Sellers and their agents need to get over it and close the deal.

Posted by Richard Foster, Broker Owner, BS, ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR (Nevada Perfect Homes) almost 7 years ago

Great post!  Even banks will frequently do repairs on "as-is" (foreclosure homes).  Most of the time it's at the request of the buyer's lender to meet FHA inspection guidelines. I've seen some banks just pay for the repair and others that do the repairs but increase the sale price to the buyer to cover the cost of repair.  But it's great to know what the law says in Florida where I'll be moving to soon.  Thanks. 

Posted by Tom Esposito (Alpharetta Home Solutions) almost 7 years ago

I usually try to convince my sellers not to advertise or state that a property is being sold "as-is." I believe "as-is" sends a message to a potential buyer that there's something wrong with the property, even if the seller's intent is merely to convey that they're not going to fix anything.

Posted by Brad Baylor (ERA Coup Agency) almost 7 years ago

Good post on a topic that is one of my pet peeves. In AZ, AS IS only shows the intent of the Buyer and there is nothing binding about it.

Posted by Bill "Waz" Wasowicz (Wizards of Waz Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Great post! I feel the points covered are crucial to explaining to both sellers and buyers in order to set up proper expectations in a transaction.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 7 years ago

A wise and well written post.  As Is does not mean as much as people think it means.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Dear Bryant,

Sometimes, the needed repairs are so extensive, that the buyer will not be able to afford them, once they purchase, but also unacceptable to leave "as is" before moving in the family. In other cases, the lender (even conventional lenders) will not allow the buyer to purchase with unknown extents of mold and leaky roofs or other persistent water problems. They want the home at a minimum to retain it's value and not deteriorate from "as is" because the buyer did not realize how serious the problem may be. Some sellers are not observant or sophisticated enough to realize the magnitude of some problems themselves and are the most surprised, when they find out. I once had a whole support beam missing under a house, because termites had eaten it. The elderly seller never noticed the problem.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) almost 7 years ago

I think "as is" just informs the buyer that the seller does not want to make repairs and is therefore warning the buyer away from asking for them.

But buyers are free to ignore the sellers' wishes and ask for anything they want.  It is all part of the negotiating process.

Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) almost 7 years ago

There are many types of as is. Bank Owned and Short Sales are typically the no repair under any circumstances type and investor owned as is which is much more negotiable. I represent Sellers mainly and sell many homes as is. And my Seller's will kill the deal like lighting if a buyer's agent thinks it is a time to negotiate. ;)

Posted by David Evans, HUD NLB Cumming GA (RE/MAX TOWN AND COUNTRY) almost 7 years ago

Great post Bryant.  I just negotiated an offer for my buyers yesterday and the seller is saying "as-is" at the price my buyers are willing to pay.  In NC we now have a "due diligence period" which gives the buyers a timeframe in which to do all of their "discovery", inspections, appraisal, etc., (the timeframe is part of the negotiations).  Prior to 5:00pm EST on the "due diligence drop-dead date", the buyer can "for any reason or no reason" cancel the contract.  This new due diligence period has helped us in cases of "as-is" properties when a seller refuses to repair something that the buyer insists on. As long as the decision is in writing prior to 5:00pm that day, the earnest money is refundable to the buyer.  If a "due diligence fee" was paid to the seller, that amount is theirs (sellers) to keep.  Some agents do not like the due diligence contracts, but I have found them to be very helpful when you have a standoff between buyer and seller whether the contract is "normal" or "as-is".  Our contracts went from 9 dates to 3 dates in 2011.  The effective date, the due diligence date and the closing date.  

Posted by Rachel Reardon, RE/MAX Executive (RE/MAX Executive) almost 7 years ago

I always educate my buyers who make an offer on an AS-IS property to not expect the seller to make any repairs unless the lender requires them to be made in order to approve the loan. I do lots of foreclosure deals and the only time I have seen sellers of REOs make repairs on a property is to just meet minimum standards that the buyers lender requires.

Now don't get me wrong, almost all buyers have another family member who is a so called "expert" in real estate who will advise the buyer behind your back that it doesn't hurt to ask.

 

Posted by Tim D. Krzyskowski, REO PRO (Realty Executives Ambassador (Orland Park, IL South Chicago)) almost 7 years ago

I have found the best way for sellers to get an "as is" sale is to have a pre-listing home inspection and then refer to the inspection in their property condition disclosure.

Posted by Carol Fox, Helping You Discover Charlotte's Best Small Towns (Allen Tate Company 704-905-3935) almost 7 years ago

Texas has already been mentioned, but I'll chime in as well. ALL Texas contracts are "as is". They are "as is" or "as is with these repairs made".  Then, the buyer can run inspections and if there is anything wrong with the house that wasn't disclosed nor visably seen, the buyer can ask the seller for repairs.

If the AC is broken and disclosed and the Roof is leaking and disclosed, the price is already set accordingly, so having an inspection and then asking the seller to repair these things is ridiculous... UNLESS it's required by the buyer's lender, and then the buyer can't buy the house at all unless repairs are completed prior to closing, but who pays for those repairs is negotiable.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) almost 7 years ago

I recently presented my buyer on an 'As Is', bank owned home. The seller/bank required an electrical outlet repair and charged my buyer for the repair. The fine print of the banks sales addendum stated the buyer must pay for any repairs recommended....even in an 'as is' sales contract. I always thought the buyers FHA loan was the only one to ask the buyer to make repairs.

Posted by Sonny W. Ensley (La Rosa Realty LLC) almost 7 years ago

Bryant... Great post!  Being from NY we too have an "as is" clause and it is interpreted the same way. I have to beg to differ with comment #20 who said the home inspection is doe before contract.  An inspection is done after both parties agree to the offer and sign the offer at whigh point it becomes a "contract". I don't know of any of the agents that I have worked with that would encourage a buyer to do the home inspection before that happens.

 This Contract is contingent upon the Buyer(s) obtaining, at Buyer(s) expense, a

satisfactory Home Inspection by a New York State Licensed Home Inspector, Architect or Engineer within _____

calendar days of the last of the Buyer(s) and Seller(s) to accept the Contract ("Inspection Approval Period"). This

contingency shall be deemed waived unless Notice that the Home Inspection is unsatisfactory is received within

the "Inspection Approval Period", in which case this Contract shall be deemed terminated. If the Contract is

deemed terminated, Seller directs and authorizes the holder of the Deposit to return it to Buyer. The Buyer(s) will

supply the Seller(s), if requested, a copy of the Home Inspection Report.

Posted by Mary Seidel, Associate Broker (Syracuse Realty Group) almost 7 years ago

I have a listing now that sold as is (REO) seller states inspection for informational puposes only will not reduce or do repairs.  Upon inspection found the roof to be on last legs, guess what seller willing to negotiate.

Posted by Edie Czerniak, My Only Purpose is to Deliver Successful Results (NextHome Advisors) almost 7 years ago

Bryant,

Great post!  I agree with William way up there in the first comments.  I sell Commercial now but when I sold Residential, the biggest problem was the Agents did not read their own contracts.  They were surprised when the words "As Is" actually meant "As Is".  We don't call the Vendor to change the athlete picture on Wheaties if we don't like the picture.  If we want Wheaties for breakfast, then we take it "As Is".

 

Posted by Mike Cathell, Real Estate Investing for Real People (Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC) almost 7 years ago

No repairs are made except in possible cases where discovery is not readily available - like behind a wall, etc.  Still, most of the time they won't repair anything unless an appraiser makes mention of it being needed.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 7 years ago

If As Is doesn't mean As Is, then why have an As Is clause?

In AZ our contract has a warranty item section which includes electrical, mechanical, plumbing systems, etc. The seller agrees in the contract to fix any warranty items found, but is under no obligation to fix any non warranty items.

The As Is addendum specifically wipes out the obligation to fix any warranty items.

As Is can be a negotiation tool for the seller when a buyer is wanting a lower price. The seller can accept the lower price in exchange for the buyer to accept the property As Is, where buyer will not make any repairs.

Inspectors are going to find things that the seller was not aware of, but that doesn't give the buyer the "right to renegotiate" the contract. The only contractual right the buyer has is to accept or cancel. The seller has no obligation to renegotiate, or to fix anything in an As Is sale.

Whether one or both parties choose to agree to renegotiate is a different story. I'm only talking about the contractual rights.

 

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Yes, Lloyd, #26 says it like it is here in our area of California. The system works well. The fact that the seller has gotten inspections done doesn't preclude the buyer from doing the same during a contingency. Only once did two pest inspectors find a major difference; we negotiated the difference and buyer/seller split the cost, remained cordial, and both were delighted with the transaction.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago
Did I comment on this before? I often get frustrated when as-is buyers change their tune. Thanks for sharing the Florida as-is clauses.
Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 7 years ago

Bryant,  this is an educational post.  There is no harm in asking for a repair and a Seller has the right to decline the repair.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Joni Saples did a good job addressing our Texas contracts.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryant,

Just had a closing on a bank owned home last week. Serious fixer. 11 offers.

Selling agent called - "When is the broken down camping trailer going to be removed from the yard?"

Me - "As Is, actually means - AS IS!"

Phil

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryant.  To me, "As Is" simply means Buyer Beware.  Beware because the seller either does not want to repair anything, can't afford to repair anything or doesn't know the condition of the property because it's an REO, Probate or Receivership listing.  In that case I make sure the buyer does a home inspection and yes the buyer may ask for repairs.  It really depends.  If the inspector finds something major like a plumbing or foundation problem, etc. the buyer and sometimes the lender wants it repaired.  So now, that previously unknown defect has been brought to the forefront, it has to be disclosed to the next buyer if my buyer cancels

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) almost 7 years ago

Great explanation.  "As is" really means "as disclosed" (at least that's the case here in CA).  If I were a seller and the buyers found out items during inspections that made them think about canceling or asking for a credit or repair, I would certainly rather have them ask than walk away.  If a seller wants to be adamant about stating that their home is an "as is" sale, then they have to be prepared that the buyers are going to think that something is wrong with the home.  If the sellers truly want an "as is" sale, then yes, getting an inspection before putting their home on the market isn't a bad idea but they have to be prepared for the results...      

Posted by Noelle Hettlinger Til, Your Los Angeles Realtor (Rodeo Realty - Fine Estates) almost 7 years ago

Often my customers will ask me if they should demand the seller take care of the issues I show them when the Realtor does not stay for the inspection (Why?).  I always tell them to talk to their realtor but that from what I have heard, many times "as is" is just that and many times it is still open for discussion.

Posted by Robert Sole (REM Inspections LLC) almost 7 years ago

I can tell you what "AS IS" really means!  Having bought three properties from the Federal Government (two from the US Marshall's Service and one from the IRS), I can assure you that the FEDs think that "As Is" means literally, that "You Take it As Is, and Assume ALL responsibilities and Liabilities associated with any current, visible, latent, hidden, or invisible defects, codes issues, zoning problems, etc. whether we disclosed them to you or NOT". 

Case in point: we bought a beautiful 11 acre tract near Keystone Heights, FL which was a US Marshall's auction property.  The online auction listing showed a SW mobile home, including photos and a floor plan, so we thought it was suitable for rental property.  The day after we won the auction, while in the pre-closing period, we jumped the fence (the gate was locked) and discovered to our horror that the mobile home had broken-out windows, graffiti inside and out, missing all appliances, and was mold-laden and roach-infested.  We cancelled the sale, citing Johnson v. Davis, a famous case that went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

The same property went back to auction a few months later, and we bought it for $30K less, knowing that the mobile home was a liability and would need to be demolished.  The day after the closing, we opened up the locked shed on the property with the new keys, and found a staircase leading UNDERGROUND to a demolished drug lab that was the size of a two car garage, totaling 650 sq. ft.  It was completely concealed. 

We later learned from the local county codes enforcement officer that their file had a "red flag" on our parcel, due to this - that the underground area, was an "unapproved structure".  My question to them was: "why did you not make the FEDS tear it down when they owned it for 3 years?"

Long story short - we told the codes guy that we planned to keep it, clean it out and use it for a storm shelter.  It tooks lots of effort - the lab had 5 separate rooms, with potting soil, Pvc tubing wiring, dirt, mold, everywhere... but, we donned Tyvek suits and respirators and tore all of that out of there and tossed it.   We now have one of the few former underground drug labs converted into a nice basement/man cave/storm shelter.  It came in real handy a few months ago, when a tornado warning was issued at 3 am in the morning.  My daughter had an underground dance party with her friends for her 16th birthday.

But, in this case, "As Is" meant that I ending up spending about $7500 to demolish one entire underground drug lab, one 70 ft. Single wide and pick up all kinds of debris scattered everywhere.  It took weeks of sweat equity.  The good news is that I now have a really nice vacation getaway, that we enjoy quite often.

If that's not the epitome of "As Is Where Is", I don't know What Is.

Posted by Joe Prager (Keller Williams Realty - Gainesville) almost 7 years ago

Great post! You seem like a rational and reasonable person. I wish all of my transactions took place between rational and reasonable people.

I love the way you look and both sides and spell it out what "as-is" means to each party. It is really important to have these types of conversations with prospects and clients.

Thanks for a really relevant post.

 

Posted by Dana Hollish Hill, Lead Associate Broker (Hollish Hill Group, Keller William Capital Properties) almost 7 years ago

Even in and "As Is" situation, it never hurts to ask; sometimes the answer will be "yes"!

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) almost 7 years ago

Great story Joe Prager!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 7 years ago

That #107 was a good story. I got burned once a long time ago and now I always check with the county before I or anyone else buys a property.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 6 years ago

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