Selling your Home “As Is” by Ron Wynn

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Did you know the words “as is” in real estate agreement mean next to nothing? When a homeowner seller says “I’m selling ‘as is,’” he is try to cover himself with a blanket statement which unbeknownst to him, can be penetrated one thousand ways. Do you think for a minute that these words would prevail over the fact that you had an issue that you did not reveal? What about a buyer finding out something during his due diligence that even you did not know about? Owners often take for granted that “as is” covers them, when in fact it does not. These words may help a buyer to back off if they have agreed to “as is” in writing, but in a court room, these words are quickly thrown aside.

Typically, a buyer will reserve 7-20 days to complete inspections and review a title report. Upon negotiating either repairs, credits, or eliminating further conditions, a buyer will ultimately sign a full contingency waiver. Or, cancel escrow without penalty or losing his deposit. After a full contingency waiver is signed by the buyer, most buyers will uphold an agreement stating that the property is sold as is. Please do not be presumptuous believing in these meaningless words. Failure to disclose will always take precedence to an “as is” clause.

Also your “as is” language has far more potency when it is specific to an issue. An example might be: “The sewer line is a 60 year old sewer line. To my knowledge we have had needed a rooter service 4 times in the past 12 months. Sewer line is sold as is.” Another example is: “The roof was replaced by a previous owner 12-14 years ago. Although we have had no leaks, it may soon need to be replaced given its age. The roof is sold as is.” These references are far more specific and will hold up far better in a case of litigation. Specific clean language is always best. Blanket statements are rarely ruled in favor.

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