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The Purchase Agreement
     What does "As-Is" mean?

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What does "As-Is" mean?

The term "as-is" is used in more than one way in connection with Real Estate Purchase Agreements. One use is with reference to who will pay for repairs to specific, named components of the home. The other use is more general, referring to the overall nature of the Purchase Agreement.

In its more limited use, the term "as-is" describes a buyer's position with respect to who will bear the cost of repairs to specifically named items. As an example, a Purchase Agreement can be written "as-is" with respect to a $4500 Pest Control Report. The buyer, having taken into account the cost of the work, writes an offer where it is agreed that they, not the seller, will bear the cost of the work. "As-Is" provisions are common in the current market, particularly with respect to Pest Control work.

As a buyer you should be very careful to know, accurately, the full cost for the repair of any item that you are taking "as-is." You can do this by making sure to have a current bid for the work from a reputable firm or tradesperson. Also, make sure that the bid is for all the work needed, that there is nothing in the bid indicating that there may be unknowns that could increase the cost.

The other use of the term, "as-is," characterizing the general nature of the contract, is most easily understood with reference to its opposite. A contract that is not "as-is" will contain a Seller Warranty, where the seller assumes responsibility for the future performance of a component of the property. An example might be where a seller warrants that the roof shall be free of leaks. A provision like this means that the seller is standing behind the performance of the roof during the next rainy season, at least. Purchase Agreements with Seller Warranties are very rare, except where the property is new, and the builder is the seller. (I can't remember the last time I saw one.)

As of the date of this writing, Spring, 2003, the Purchase Agreement is general use locally is an "As-Is" type Purchase Agreement. It is important to note several things about its "as-is" aspect.

1) The "as-is" provision in no way diminishes the responsibility of a seller to fully disclose all material facts and defects known to them that may affect the desirability of the property.

2) The "as-is" provision in no way limits a buyers right to inspect the property under the inspection provisions of the Purchase Agreement.

3) The "as-is" provision in no way limits any rights a buyer may have under the Purchase Agreement to negotiate with a seller in connection with conditions discovered during the buyer's inspections.




I understand that in times past, and in other places, "as-is" meant, "Let the buyer beware." No longer, at least in our area.

Nacio Brown
Added March 2003 Click here for Printer-Friendly Version


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Nacio Brown

Added March 2003 Click here for Printer-Friendly Version

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