3 Things to Consider When Purchasing an “As-Is” Home

What is an “As-Is” Home?

In real estate, buying or selling a home “as-is” means the current occupants or owners do not intend to make any repairs or renovations to the structure before ownership changes hands. Agreeing to this provision as purchasers means the sellers have no obligations to make any improvements. Often, buyers will request an inspection for fact-finding purposes only before agreeing to purchase as-is. Other times, sellers will specify certain parts of the home that will be sold as-is. 

If you’re considering purchasing a home “as-is,” you should carefully consider the tradeoffs you will be making if you eventually agree to the clause. Here are some things to keep in mind as your consider the prospect of as-is properties:

 

  • Selling a house as-is may be an implicit admission that the house is in need of significant repairs. Usually, this provision doesn’t mean that the home sellers are harboring some nefarious secret in order to maximize their profit. It can mean that the sellers are admitting that they simply don’t feel the need to make repairs in order to sell (in hot market areas, this can be true) or that they truly do not have the capacity to make certain improvements. Any guarantee that the house is free from major flaws is gone when it is being sold as-is. 
  • You may (and should) ask questions about the state of the home. Just because an as-is provision exists does not mean the sellers are under a gag order about discussing any needed repairs. Homeowners are forbidden from lying or deceiving in their responses to questions from prospective buyers. Realtors, however, must be more forthcoming when discussing properties with buyers, as they are under greater responsibility to inform clients. 
  • Consider commissioning a full inspection of the house. If you didn’t plan on making extensive renovations to a house you might buy in the near future, this is more of an imperative. Choose an inspector without a conflict of interest (not one directly referred to you by the realtor). Even though the inspection will not yield improvements that the homeowner must make, it will still go a long way in giving you realistic expectations about the property.

Conclusion

There are many tradeoffs buyers must consider when purchasing a new home. As-is properties may be par for the course for professional house flippers and investors, but typical residents should be very wary of pulling the trigger on such a listing.

For any legal assistance in making sure your next real estate transaction aligns with your personal goals for you and your family, give us a call today at (954) 771-8929 to get started with a free consultation.

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Schlegel Livingston LLC

Schlegel Livingston, LLC is an established real estate and probate/estate planning law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We pride ourselves on being a very hands-on law office who will help our clients by any means necessary.

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