Understand an As Is Contract Before You Sign
As a realtor, it is my job to help my clients understand the processes along the way. Whether you are a buyer or seller there are so many terms and aspects to a real estate transaction that you should know about, that you can quickly feel overwhelmed. From time to time I like to share some of the basics with you so you can be better prepared when you are ready to sell or buy a new home. One term which is important to understand is an “As-Is” Contract. This implies a sale agreement for two parties to accept a property sale without any repairs or updates being done prior to the close of the sale. In essence this is correct, but there is more to it than that.
The term “As is” in general use is used for a seller of any goods who offers something in its present condition, and in which a buyer takes on the risk that what is being purchased may not be in perfect working condition. This does not apply to residential real estate in Florida however. Not only should a buyer beware, but sellers would be smart to beware also. Florida law dictates that regardless of the type of contract signed, “As is” or not, if there is any known defect or problem within a house which could affect the value materially, but is not disclosed by a seller, the seller is held liable. There is no need to prove fraud or bad intent in a case of non-disclosure, rather, the law applies a strict liability on the part of seller regardless of why a problem was not disclosed.
Should something be found to have not been disclosed, buyers have some rights of appeal including canceling the sale or even suing a seller for lost money in connection to the undisclosed problem. This applies no matter if the non-disclosure was intentional or an honest mistake. The law was put in place to protect buyers, not sellers. So as a seller, what can you do? Have your own home inspection done prior to listing your home. With an inspection report you should know if there are any problems with the home that need to be disclosed. Also keep a record of any repairs or remodeling work that has been done in your home since you have lived there, and prior if you have access to it. Providing these documents along with a copy of your own inspection report is a secure way to ensure you are disclosing all that you know in regards to your property. On the flipside, as a buyer, be sure you keep a record of all the known disclosures, no matter how long you live in your home before selling it again. By keeping the documentation you can provide all known prior disclosures as well, and protect yourself more thoroughly in the future.
When you are ready to sell or buy, having someone on your side who can help navigate the intricate details of a real estate sale is a smart move. I am proud to be able to make the real estate process move smoothly for my clients, and I am here to help with all of your real estate needs. If you’re looking for a warm and engaging professional to help you with the purchase or sale of your home, contact me today at 407-234-5313 or by email: Jeff@JeffRoyle.com.