What are your rights if you buy a home “as-is?”

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Residential Real Estate

You’ve found what seems to be the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood at a great price. However, it’s advertised for sale “as-is.” Obviously, the first thing you want to do is find out just what the problems with it are.

Some homes for sale as-is are in reasonably good condition. The seller may just not want to spend the time and money upgrading appliances, putting a new coat of paint on it or installing new flooring or carpeting. They may not want to haggle with potential buyers over contingencies, which are things listed in the purchase-sale agreement that need to be fixed or replaced for the deal to go through. They’re willing to take a little less to sell it quickly.

Say you tour the home, and the owner or their real estate agent seems to be upfront about any work that you’ll likely need to do. Should you trust them if it seems a fair price for their analysis of the work needed?

Get an inspection before you make an offer

There is too much at stake to place blind faith in a seller. A lot of serious problems with homes aren’t visible, at least to most home buyers. That’s why it’s crucial to spend some money and hire at least one inspector to go through the home carefully. You may want to hire additional specialized inspectors to find issues like asbestos, termites, radon, mold and other potential problems not included in a traditional inspection.

What is a seller legally required to disclose?

Sellers have the same disclosure requirements whether they sell their home as-is or not. Under New York law, they must disclose any defects to the property they’re aware of. This must be done in a Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) no later than 10 days prior to the signing of the contract.

If the owner fails to disclose something they knew about, a buyer can hold them liable. Sometimes, it’s hard to prove what a seller knew. However, you may be able to find proof in prior reports from repair or insurance professionals. Whether you’re still considering purchasing an as-is home or you’ve found undisclosed defects in a home you’ve already moved into, it’s wise to get experienced legal guidance