Lately a lot of sellers have had their agents say the home is to be sold As Is. All bank owned property and short sale properties specify As Is purchase. This is a subject where the answer is not precise since every situation is different. In both traditional and short sales, the seller is required to disclose everything he knows about the property and there’s been plenty of lawsuits to sellers for not disclosing or hiding an item that would affect the transaction. In that situation, even a buyer buying a home As Is is entitled to cancel the contract or renegotiate the contract before the close of escrow. Even if the seller has disclosed everything about the property and the buyer from ordering their own inspections, discover something about the property that the buyer thinks affects his offer. The buyer may do nothing, renegotiate, or cancel the contract even though the buyer agreed to purchase the home As Is. This is best done during the buyers inspection contingency time frame. Bottom line is, if the buyer wants the home bad enough and the seller wants to sell they will reach some sort of compromise, and hopefully with the agents working to keep the deal together. In the case of bank owned property, since the bank is exempt from the disclosure statement the banks the buyer does not have a lot to work with when they make an offer on a property(although the listing agent if a licensed agent must do a visual inspection disclosure) banks will be a lot tougher since it’s not their single item of value. Although, if something is discovered, it may not hurt to ask, you never know, they may agree or meet you part way on the cost.
The most important items in buying a home As Is is: 1. How much am I willing to pay and is the condition it’s in justify my offering price to get the home? 2. Depending on the condition, do I have a cushion for minor repairs if any are discovered? 3. If I discover something major and the seller is unwilling to renegotiate, will I be willing to cancel the contract.
If you think about it, these items should be considered in any home a buyer is willing to purchase. Buying a home As Is isn’t any different than a normal transaction, it’s just that the seller has established a little more stringent preliminary guidelines on their side.
As a final note, this pertains to the negotiations prior to close of escrow . If a home is purchased As Is and closes and issues arise, contact agents involved regarding information or legal advice.