Purchasing a home is both an emotional commitment and a financial investment. When considering a property, knowing a few real estate law terms is always helpful. For example, some properties are listed “as is.” The guide below provides an overview of what this might mean to help you make informed decisions.
What the Term “As-Is” Could Mean for a Home
When a contract includes this term, the buyer agrees to buy the property in its present condition. The seller won’t make repairs, renovations, or improvements. The seller may not have the funds to pay for changes, or the property may have been foreclosed and be owned by a bank. If the previous owner passed away, their beneficiaries might also choose to expedite the sale by including this concept in the agreement.
In all instances, it’s possible that a house sold “as is” has costly problems, such as foundation damage, roof leaks, pest infestations, asbestos, mold, and malfunctioning HVAC systems.
How to Protect Yourself When Buying a Home
Always take extra steps to protect yourself when considering a house sold as-is. One option is to include an inspection contingency in the contract. A home inspection identifies everything from foundation cracks to pest problems. If the inspector finds an issue, you can walk away from the deal and get any deposits back. A real estate law professional will draft a legally binding offer that includes this contingency.
You may also want to have your attorney run a title search to ensure the house is in the seller’s name. Otherwise, you could get ensnared in a legal battle when someone else—like the seller’s former spouse—claims rights to the home you just bought because the seller wasn’t legally entitled to close the deal.
If you’re in the process of buying a home, turn to Robert A. Schwartz. Serving the metropolitan area of Rochester, NY, this attorney has more than 30 years of experience helping people become homeowners. He provides honest and clear communication to help the process go smoothly. Learn more about his work with real estate law online, or call (585) 334-4270 to schedule a consultation.