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As Is is not always as it is!

New Milford, CT real estate talk. What does "As Is" really mean?

As a real estate professional in the greater New Milford, CT area, I do come across the term "as is" many times. "As is" means something different to each party, let me explain.

Selling your home "as is".

Real Estate As IsSometimes while listing a house the seller will tell me they want to sell the house "as is". I caution them that if we put "as is" in the listing it will send up a big red flag to the buyer and buyers agent.

"I wonder what they aren't going to fix?"

Perhaps you have spent time and money preparing your home for sale. You had a pre-listing inspection and took care of the issues that were pointed out to you. There is no need for you to put "as is" in the listing, if any issues do come up with a buyers inspection you are not required to fix them. The confusion on this point comes in with the buyers lender. They may ask for the inspection report and red flag certain items themselves, refusing to lend money until these issues are addressed.

But again, it is your right to say no, I will not fix anymore. I have done enough! Just know it might cost the deal, you should always discuss it with your real estate agent and if you are already in contract, discuss it with your attorney as well.

Buying a home "as is".

Buyers do not like to see "as is". I expect certain types of listings will be sold "as is". For instance, a short sale. Often times the home owner does not have the financial ability to address an issue that crops up. If the issue is a real deal breaker, it is not unheard of for the lender to assist correcting the issue in order to keep the sale on track, but don't hold your breath.

Foreclosures are often sold "as is". However I am seeing more and more lenders who understand that if they want to get the property sold they may have to address certain issues. If a buyer discovers that the septic system is shot, they may fix it if they know it will stop any other buyers from purchasing the property. However this is not a given. Homes that are in probate are often sold "as is" also. There just may not be enough money in the estate to pay for any repairs.

All in all, when purchasing a home that is "as is", make sure you get a very thorough home inspection. And make sure you understand that your lender may not be on board with the findings, especially for a first time home buyer.

"As Is" in real estate is not always the case! My advice? Keep it off the listing if you are a seller.If you know there are issues that are going to pop up and you can't address them, price it accordingly. If you are a buyer, just make sure you know what you are walking into. "As is" is really nothing more than a big red flag!

AS IS IS NOT ALWAYS AS IT IS!

Originally posted at "Real Estate As Is"

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor

 

 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.

 

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776

 

© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 45 commentsAndrea Swiedler • November 08 2011 03:26PM

Comments

Great topic, Andrea! For many "as is" listings, it reads as "house being sold by stubborn seller".

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago

"As is" is definitely a huge red flag. I can almost always find a listing that better meets my clients needs that does not include those words.

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) over 7 years ago

Andrea, like you said, there are some cases AS-IS is AS-IS, and buyer understands it if they are buying foreclosures, short sales.....but when it comes to a re-sale home, sellers are not wise to name the game AS-IS from the get go.   

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 7 years ago

Well said Andrea!  And I agree that a non bank owned or short sale property that is marked as is just makes buyers worry and assume the very worst.  Far better for a seller to wait to see what comes up in the inspection report (or appraisal) as it may be a smallish item that they are happy to agree to correct.  And if not, they can just say no!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago

Very well put.  Occasionally you have the seller that tries to say that from the get go and it is always a red flag for buyers.  I never put that on a listing and see so many that have it right from when the listing is put up.

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

Andrea - In California the purchase contract states the house is being sold in its present condition--which basically means 'as is' and the seller can refuse to make any repairs, but he also runs the risk of losing a buyer or two.  Everything is negotiable is my motto, and reason and logic should prevail.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 7 years ago

Such an excellent post. I advise the as is for a seller to only be brought up during negotiations if they feel absolutely stongly that they will fix nothing else.

Posted by Dawn Crawley, Find Pinehurst Homes (Dawn Crawley Realty) over 7 years ago

Good evening, Andrea. Many buyers look at this term to mean what will they have to fix or use it as a negotiating tool to lessen the price of the property...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) over 7 years ago

Andrea, the words 'Sold as is' are red flags for sure, and can even cost the seller a look by a qualified buyer as they think the worst. Sellers, should do the best they can to get the house in order and if they know of issues, be prepared to negotiate for their repairs.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Hi Andrea, great topic.... it does send out red flags when I see... sold as is and there will be no repairs.  Get that inspection done ASAP.  Enjoy your evening.

Posted by Judith Parker, CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC (ProStead Realty) over 7 years ago

Andrea--Excellent advice. Banks and estates will require this because they cannot warrant the property but we don't have to put it in the listing. Maybe in the agent remarks is a better place for this explanation but not in the MLS public remarks.

Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) over 7 years ago

Andrea, good points here.  As is is a huge red flag, and when buyers estimate repair costs, they always way overestimate, and their offers generally reflect it.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I guess it could be worse...contract could state  I ain't fixin' $h%! Well...actually  "as - is" really means the same thing!  LOL

Posted by Nevin Williams, Senior Mortgage Advisor (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation) over 7 years ago

This is so true, Andrea! It's much better to leave the negotiations for repairs as they come up.  Buyers will balk at as-is listings!

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) over 7 years ago

Andrea, so true and again & again there is always a tussle with those sellers who insist they will not doing any repairs & want to sell it as is...I so better getting the repairs done with a Bank then some reluctant sellers!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Andrea - I tell my FHA buyers to be very careful about looking at "as is" homes, since the sellers may not fix what the appraiser needs done.....

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 7 years ago

With so many short sales and foreclosures in our market the "as is" contract with right to inspect is extremely common.  I have had cases where the contract was "as is" but the seller still fixed some problems found in the home inspection to hold the deal together.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) over 7 years ago

Good post! "As-Is" always irks me. Define "is" is what I tell my Sellers who want to go this route. Do you know down to the minute detail every possible defect of the house? Can you guarantee there's nothing, absolutely nothing else wrong? If so, then post it "as-is" and disclose everything. But if you've missed anything, then "is" changes and expect the Buyer to ask you to repair or renegotiate.

And... even REO's will make repairs on properties that are listed "as-is." Not always but I've successfully gotten all the necessary repairs made by the bank so that my FHA Buyer could complete the purchase.

Posted by Monica Hill, the REALTOR to help you discover Delaware (RE/Max Associates) over 7 years ago

It is a red flag but to a lesser degree than in the past. With so may short sales and REO's making up the market, as-is is both common and accepted. Even on equity sales, provided that the price is right, as-is can also be acceptable. However, premium priced homes should be turnkey and not as-is.

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

It's true, we automatically read "as is" as, "Uh ohhhhhhhhhhh..." lol!  Sometimes it's a bad thing, but sometimes it's a diamond.  Maybe just a person saying listen, I'm pricing it so that when you do the repairs yourself, you'll still have a great price, and a better home!

Posted by Christine Gerbehy, Making waves, one home at a time... (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield) over 7 years ago

Great topic great post..

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by George P. Cruz Sr., PSL FL CDPE, TRC, CIPS (DR Horton) over 7 years ago

You are right on with your message here.  We all have to pay a lot of attention & not assume anything about an "as is" property. 

Posted by Jirius Isaac, Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA (Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage) over 7 years ago

Andrea - My experience with lenders on these inspections is that sometimes, if the cost of the inspection is being included on the settlement statement, they may want a copy of it.

Posted by Brad Baylor (ERA Coup Agency) over 7 years ago

AS IS usually means to me that it is pretty bad and you may not want to stop here.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) over 7 years ago

In my experience, "as Is " doesn't always mean " as is".  In fact, it rarely does. I agree its a definite negative on a property, and immediate devalues it.

Posted by Linda Fidgeon, Make your next move your best move! (Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Page Realty) over 7 years ago

Depending on the  laws in your state "As Is" clauses in the contract of sale can also affect the seller's disclosure obligations (or lack thereof) as well as warranties that may survive the closing.

Posted by Kate Akerly, Manhattan Beach Residential Sales (Kaminsky Group) over 7 years ago

As is with the right to inspect has become the norm with most folks in PB County Florida. It is negotiating the offer twice. Our documentation reads "at the buyers sole discrection they can walk away" provided they timely tell seller in writing. Nothing has to be wrong with the home. It basically gives them a recission period. I personally find this even on homes that aren't short sales or bank owned. Just had a wonderful listing, every offer I received was as is. That was not stated in the offering. I believe the Real Estate population got into a lot of heated discussions on what should be fixed & a bunch of cosmetic suff that didn't pertain to purchase & sale agreement. The Real Estate population has done a very poor job comprehending the contactual agreements & this has led to the as is.   Here it also states in the rules, that the seller & agent would then have to disclose ALL Known Facts that materially affect value that are not readily observable to all subsequent the buyers. " Years ago, when we saw an as is, you never  showed, you stayed far away from unless an inestor should some interest. I personally do not like nor condone. 

Posted by John T. Roulis- Platinum Properties RE, Jupiter Fl. over 7 years ago

Andrea>>>

When I see a house advertised as-is, I tell my buyers to assume that even the best inspector might miss  a few things here or there. No disclosure will almost inevitably lead to lower offers.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

"As is" is an over used term.  People can still inspect and still negotiate.  Basically you are saying I won't do anything to fix this house to get it sold.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Most "as is" properties are distressed and a full time agent should already know about the area and neighborhood and shouldn't be surprised nor should their clients. That said, it depends on the condition of the property to determine what is and as is to determine what if any offer should be presented, don't you think?

 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago

In California all of our contracts are "AS-IS" subject to inspection. Even if it says "AS-IS" it doesn't always mean "AS-IS" sometimes with REO's there are safety issues, or other issues that are called by an appraiser that become a condition of the loan and they HAVE to be fixed.The bank is going to have to fix it for another buyer anyway. Sometimes sellers put that in the remarks because they are setting a tone that they are not going to be nickle-and-dimed to death or they simply don't have the money to put into repairs. When a property says "AS-IS", it doesn't mean that a buyer still doesn't have the right to ask. You can always ask and see where it goes, it's called the Art of Negotiation!

Posted by Debra Miller (Bella Real Estate) over 7 years ago

This is wonderful advice Barbara!  It is a concept that is so misunderstood.  It's great how you bring up the banks take on it too.  Well done.  

Posted by Karen Bernetti over 7 years ago

Here in S. Florida, everyting is as-is. The term of not having the financial ability takes on a whole different meaning.

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Hi Andrea,  I agree.  I usually tell my sellers we will turn it into an as-is based on offer-counteroffer.  A lowball price is as-is.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 7 years ago

Thank you everyone! The past few days have been busy with appointments, a closing, issues, etc. I just showed another one yesterday.. "as is", with a possible buried oil tank on the property. After my current fiasco with an oil tank.... this is a sure sign of headaches to come as my buyer liked it.

Thanks again!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 7 years ago

Wow, how strange. AS IS is very common here. It does not mean that there is anything wrong with the property, actually last year out of my 48 sales ... 48 were AS IS. All our listings are AS IS. And I am very surprised with all these negative connotations.

It is AS IS with the right of inspection. You do the inspection and you may decide to walk away, or reneotiate. the only thing you can't do is force the Seller to do the repairs.

So what?

And often the sellers and buyers find commong ground here as well.

Can it simply be an agent's phobia?

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 7 years ago

Inspected an as is property recently, it was a short sale. The buyers agent, whom I do not know, pulled me aside to run over what I would call her rules for the inspection. She made it very clear the property was as is and no repairs would be made. I pulled my buyers aside and told them that not every agent approaches the sale in this manner. Further if I were to discover safety issues, its fair to expect they should be brought to the sellers attention (the bank) and quite possibly addressed.

I found several fairly serious electrical issues and improperly "mitigated" asbestos. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Everything is negotiable. In So. Cal. the REO's and Short Sales are typically sold "As-Is", and the lender's have been stubborn about repairs. I have found if anything is called out to be repaired in the appraisal and you present it with bids to repair(do the leg work for them), you can typically convince them it is in their best interest(fiscal) to do the work.

Posted by janine nielsen, Homes For Heroes Realtor (Re/Max Advantage) over 7 years ago

Hey, Andrea!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great Sunday!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Agreed. As-is isnt always as-is. Write the offer, negotiate, come to terms. Sometimes as-is is, sometimes as-is isnt.

 

Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) over 7 years ago

Hi Andrea - Since our Califonria contract forms already say that the purchase is AS-IS, I advise my clients to worry about any repairs or whatever in the negotiations that may take place after the inspections are completed.  If I represent the buyers who want a home but are uncomfortable about the purchase after reviewing the inspection report, they can then ask for repairs to be made by seller, and if they are rebuffed, they can cancel the deal.  Usually the seller will agree to at least negotiate the most serious issues at that time.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 7 years ago

Andrea, very interesting points to consider, thanks.

Posted by Marie Story, Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist (Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami)) over 7 years ago

Patricia's list sent me here.  For a long time the California Association of Realtors discouraged using the term "as is" because they felt it was interpreted differently by different people.  About 7-8 years ago they changed the standard purchase agreement to default to "as is" and that has make "as is" sales more common and acceptable.

 

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 7 years ago

Andrea -- I also found this via Particia's list.  As lender - we recently had REO - with problems: roof leaked, gutter problems, paint basically gone on outsite, plus water marks on sheetrock inside, and couple holes in walls.  Though it was listed "as-is" the bank paid to get those things fixed.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 7 years ago
I have had sellers want to sell their homes as-is and I gave them the exact same reasoning on why they shouldn't advertise the listing that way. It's definitely a red flag for buyers. Unless it's a short sale, bank owned or probate, because an educated buyer expects it then. ALWAYS get a home inspection no matter what, though!
Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) about 7 years ago

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