Your home is likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. When you purchase a home, you are spending a lot of money you have saved and are probably going to be in debt with a mortgage for years to come. You want to make sure that you get the most for your money. You have heard of “as-is” sales and they often apply to used vehicles, and to other merchandise. You may not realize that home purchases may also be “as-is” sales. Since a home purchase is a contract, it is often advisable to seek legal guidance throughout the process to ensure that you protect your rights.
“As-Is” in a Real Estate Contract
You will often see the term “as-is” in a real estate contract. The term “as-is” does not mean that you cannot obtain inspections or make requests regarding the condition of the property. It is important to realize that a buyer still maintains the right to cancel a contract. For instance, if you begin the contract process and find a flaw or defect, you can maintain your right to cancel the transaction if a major problem is revealed during the inspection. In other words, the buyer may still have the right to stop the contract when a significant issue is uncovered prior to the completion of the sale. Generally, an inspection is performed that will provide you with the information you need in order to go ahead with the purchase.
Real Estate Contracts
A real estate contract is a contract between the seller and buyer. As such, both parties have obligations and responsibilities. The property is typically sold “as-is” as long as there are no major hidden or unknown problems that are uncovered during inspections. Sellers are required to disclose any major problems that they are aware of and buyers should utilize their option to obtain inspections in order to ensure a smooth transaction. If a major issue is found during inspection, it may override the “as-is” nature of the sale. The seller must then address the issues to the mutual satisfaction of both parties or the buyer may elect to cancel the sale.
It is always in your best interest as a buyer to include as many inspections as possible. Some of the inspections might include a structural inspection, inspection of the mechanical systems, rodent and pest inspections, radon testing, oil and septic tank inspections, and pool and chimney inspections. Make sure that you allow enough time to have inspections completed and receive the results so you can review them prior to closing.
Keep in mind that real estate contracts can be complex. You need to fully read and understand the details included in the document before you agree to it. An attorney will help you review the terms of the contract and answer questions you might have. Remember that you have the right to request changes to the contract before execution. Your lawyer will work with the seller’s attorney to iron out any changes. If you cancel a contract, you could still forfeit your down payment in some cases, so it is best to take your time to evaluate the property prior to signing the contract. Get the legal assistance you need from our knowledgeable legal team. Contact us at Moen Sheehan Meyer, LTD to discuss your needs today at (608) 784-8310.