What Does “As Is” Condition Really Mean?

For Sale - "As Is"Banks selling property by exercising their right to do so under Power of Sale proceedings always sell the property in “as is” condition for very good reason.  Banks are unable to provide any representations regarding the condition of the home since they are unfamiliar with the home other than having made a loan to the owner to purchase the property.  

Similar is true of an executor of an estate.  Since an executor has most likely not personally resided in a property offered for sale the executor would not be able to make representations and/or warranties about a home they have little or no knowledge about.  

However, there are times when owners selling their own home will sell the property in “as is” condition. When most buyers learn that a seller is offering their home for sale “as is” they wonder what is wrong with the property that the seller would include this stipulation on the home’s sale when in actual fact there may be absolutely nothing with the property itself.  However, some sellers just want it known upfront that they are selling the house in its current condition, aren’t willing to make any repairs and might not be willing to include any warranties as part of any transaction.

Selling a property “as is”, however, does not mean that a seller can conceal known defects or issues with the house. For example, if a seller is aware that the basement has a small leak in the spring in a particular corner of the foundation, selling the property “as is” does not remove the seller’s obligation to disclose the leak.  Nonetheless, the seller will not make repairs to the seasonal leak when selling “as is”.

“As is” listings should not be overlooked. Sellers just might not be able to carry out needed repairs due to time constraints (job transfer), financial (can’t afford it) or personal reasons (divorce).  

As when buying any property, a buyer should acquire as much information as they can about the property and conduct an inspection of the property.  A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home.  Home inspections aren’t rated on a “pass” or “fail” basis but rather a reporting of the findings revealed during the inspection.  It is up to the  buyer after reviewing the inspection report as to the next steps taken taken.  If you are buying a property offered for sale “as is” remember that the seller isn’t going to make any necessary repairs identified during the inspection therefore one of your options is to fulfil the home inspection condition from your offer to purchase. Alternatively, if the results of the inspection revealed issues that you aren’t willing to accept, your offer to purchase most likely allows you to be released from the agreement.

Banks selling property in “as is” condition under Power of Sale will attach lengthy and complicated Schedules to to the agreement of purchase and sale which go beyond the caveat that they aren’t able to make any representations.  An experienced REALTOR® can offer you advice and counsel when purchasing a property sold in “as is” condition.

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