In California, there are two kinds of "AS IS". One is the CAR purchase contract defined 'As Is', basically saying that the seller will not be responsible for any small repairs, such as little cracks on the wall, rip on the window screen, etc. This is a default on CAR forms and is for your 'regular' house. You will still negotiate for larger defective items.
Another one is the real 'AS IS', which usually requires a special "AS IS' addendum which defines the items that are purchased 'AS IS', and basically says that the seller will not be doing any repairs nor will they pay any credit for repairs; this usually used for bank sale, trustee sale, or major fixer, or houses priced low or some sellers who just do not want to deal with this at all. This usually means there is no negotiation at all on repairs and you accept the house as is. . .
The fact is, in either case, you can always try and for repairs and/or credits. As long as you have inspection contingency and you have not removed the contingency yet, you 'might' be able to get out the contract fine. However, if you also waived the inspection contingency or if you have remove the inspection contingency, then you are in deeper water.
As I have not seen the details of your contract, it is difficult to say for sure, but those are the scenarios and there are many ways to work things out - all depends on both side's motivation and negotiation skills. You really need to have your Realtor to look through the contact in detail to determine where you stand.
Also, depending on the local government regulation; in some places, the local government will require either seller or buyer to fix certain safety related issues. Then thatâ€™s another issue altogether.
Did you sign an As Is contract with the right to inspect? If so you would have had a cap of repairs indicated. In other words if you signed an as is contract with the right to inspect with a cap of $10,000. Then you have your home inspection. Get estimates of repairs and if they exceed $10,000. You can renegotiate or walk away and get your deposit back. However, if you signed a straight as is contract and none of your contingencies has anything to do with an ispection then you would be in jeopary of losing your good faith deposit of you do not close. You cannot refuse to remove contingencies that are not related. You can talk to your realtor (hope you have one), they may be able to unofficailly talk to the sellers realtor. But if push comes to shove you very well may lose your deposit.
Hope this helps,
Linda J Sears
So, major problems which affect functionality must be repaired by the seller.
In general, if you have an Inspection Addendum signed around and its still under its time limit... then that is what its all about...negotiation. You ask for repairs to be done..., or a credit at closing so you can do them yourself. Some people prefer to do their own or hire their own repairs to be done to ensure that they are done correctly..., and if not done right they would have more leverage with a Licensed Contractor to call them back to take care of it. Much will depend on what was agreed to in your Addenda.
In Washington State as with most states I am sure, all property is "sold as-is" unless otherwise stated that it comes with some kind of Warranty like new homes will do, or sometimes a seller will offer the buyer an aftermarket 1 year Warranty that can cost $300 or so. The value of those warranties is debatable, some love them and some don't. I like to negotiate on my buyers behalf to get one paid for by the seller if there is not one offered..., and I like to encourage my clients who are sellers to offer one NO MATTER WHAT... hey it just makes sense and they are cheap enough. Puts the buyer in a better frame of mind and the seller can always say that they did all they could to help the buyer. Win win.
After the fact:
Buyers do have certain rights in all States, even if the property was sold with a statement on the Listing and/or Purchase and Sale Agreement that states it is sold As-is, but that is subject to matters of Law and Consumer rights etc. - One example would be a "Sellers Disclosure Statement" ...which can be an issue if something was not disclosed properly and later the buyer thought it was perhaps fraudulent, then the buyer could perhaps consult with an Attorney on the subject. Generally however, if the seller has to the best of their ability disclosed all known issues with the property a Lawyer may find that the seller is not liable. Again, its a matter for an Attorney in most cases.
Also be aware, that in the situation of an REO, the seller hasn't lived in the property and thus is not going to have as much information to disclose.
I'm licensed in CA, and this answer may not apply to all states.
For this reason, many sellers and agents insist on an as-is sale, whether the property is in pristine condition or is a major fixer.
In California, the laws and/or standard forms used in the state convert "as-is" into what we call "as-is/as-disclosed." This is the case where the contracts and law of California (a) require that a seller disclose any "material" defect of which he knows or should know, and (b) the contracts popularly used incorporate the sellers' property disclosures into the contract.
In an "as-is/as-disclosed" sale, the seller has the duty to inform the buyer of any problems or issues with the property that would make a difference in the decision-making of a reasonable buyer; that can help the buyer decide (a) whether she's interested in the property, (b) for what price and on what terms -- considering the repairs they may have to do later, and (c) which inspections to obtain to fully understand the property's condition.
So, the first step a buyer can take in protecting themselves in an as-is sale is to fully read and understand the contract and the seller's disclosures, including asking your broker or agent to explain what disclosure duties the seller owes you. Disclosures should be carefully reviewed, and any defects or work that the seller reports having done to the property should be investigated.
It's a good idea to ask questions and request copies of work permits or warranties and generally get an understanding for what work this seller has had done to the home. If the seller was not the first owner, it can also be revealing to ask if he still has any of the disclosures from the preceding owner.
Most important, though, is the next step: to have the property thoroughly and professionally inspected before the end of your contingency or objection period. At the very least, get a home inspection and any "special inspections" the general home inspector recommends.
Consult with your agent and use your judgment. I generally advise my clients to have an general property inspection, a pest inspection and a roof inspection. Fireplace, geological, and foundation inspections are also fairly common, given that I sell homes in an earthquake-prone area where chimneys often separated from houses and foundations required ongoing maintenance. If the general inspector says that the house is in great shape, the buyer might choose to forgo those.
Read and follow up on the inspectors' written or digital reports by getting any further information indicated from the seller, obtaining "specialized" inspections as recommended, and getting bids for repairs needed before the expiration of your contingency or objection period.
In an as-is sale, inspection reports serve both as your launch-pad for a repair request and as your post-closing home improvement store shopping list. They are a way to begin understanding what needs to be done so you can get estimates and bids on the work before finalizing the purchase of the home. Think of inspection reports as a tool for making sure you are completely comfortable taking the home in that condition. If you are not, the reports can serve as an alert that you should back out of the sale or renegotiate with the seller, given the defects revealed by the inspections. You can ask for repairs from the seller or a credit for repairs, as necessary.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
"As is" means that the seller doesn't plan to fix anything; however, he/she is still obligated to disclose things that may be wrong. You don't have to go forwared with the contract, unless you have already released contingencies.
Does that make sense?
Feel free to contact me for more info.. No obligation.. I just like helping people..