It is common for those who scan real estate listings to see properties for sale listed “as-is.” The term generally invokes such images as a diamond in the rough ready for a rehab or perhaps a potential money pit.
Issues to consider
Here are some helpful tips for those contemplating an as-is real estate deal:
- The property could be acceptable: Some sellers just want to off-load a piece of property with minimum effort and anxiety, which means that they will likely do very little to close the deal.
- Get an inspection: It is always best to be suspicious when a deal seems too good to be true. A thorough examination may identify serious problems with the building or land. It also can give peace of mind that the deal is a good one. Be wary if they will not allow an inspection.
- Do not be afraid to counter: The inspection may reveal problems that the seller did not even know about. The savvy buyer can counter with a price that considers these problems.
- Do not be afraid to withdraw the offer: Sellers can name their price, but the buyer does not have to pay it until they sign on the dotted line. The deposit may be returned if there were prearranged terms.
- Sellers should avoid the term: The term “as-is” scares off a lot of buyers. The seller is obligated to disclose any problems with the property they are aware of. It can make a sale more difficult if the inspectors find problems and potential buyers withdraw their offers. This can lead to more headaches than just negotiating with the first potential buyer.
Attorneys help protect clients’ interests
Real estate attorneys can provide a variety of services to clients looking to make a real estate deal. This includes recognizing and thus avoiding potential lawsuits, identifying land use regulations and requirements, negotiating terms, and drafting a fair but binding contract.