When searching for a new home in a competitive market such as Maricopa County, it can be challenging to find a property that meets all of your criteria. Often, newly-listed real estate will have multiple offers as soon as it reaches the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Under these circumstances, a motivated buyer may be willing to consider purchasing a home that isn?t in perfect condition. In some instances, a property might look okay but come with the questionable condition of ?as is? attached to the sale. If you are considering selling or buying a residence subject to this provision, you will want to know: What happens when you buy or sell a home ?as is??
What Does it Mean to Sell or Buy a Home ?As-Is??
In general, when something is sold ?as is,” the seller is indicating that they are not guaranteeing anything about its condition beyond what the buyer can observe before making the purchase. In the real estate context, “as is” means that a property owner will not warranty anything about a home’s condition after the sale is completed. When the buyer and seller close on the transaction, the seller will have accepted the property in its existing state.
The Seller?s Duty to Disclose
Arizona courts have held that a material fact is something that a reasonable person would want to know before buying a home. The law requires that if a seller is aware of material facts about a property, they must disclose them to the buyer.
Although the ?as is? concept implies that a seller is not responsible for the property?s condition, adding the term to a real estate purchase contract will not negate the seller’s duty to disclose material facts. In other words, sellers remain under a legal obligation to be honest, and forthcoming about the condition of the property they are seeking to convey.
Arizona residential purchase ordinarily includes a document entitled the ?Seller Property Disclosure Statement? or ?SPDS.? The seller will complete this document and give it to the buyer within three days of acceptance of the purchase contract. The seller is required to list all known material facts here, including known latent defects or those that could not be located through a reasonable inspection of the property.
Buyer?s Obligation to Inspect the Property
Once the buyer has the seller’s disclosure, they are responsible for performing their due diligence of the property during the inspection period. This is the time frame the buyer has to examine the property and title record and have their own experts evaluate the home’s condition. If the buyer discovers an issue, they can ask that the seller remedy the problem, renegotiate the terms of the sale, or walk away. Should the buyer learn that the seller knew or should have known of a problem with the property, they should review the matter with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney.
Before using or signing a purchase contract that includes an “as is” clause, you should consult with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney.? Your counsel can review the document, help you assess the circumstances of the sale, and provide you with the information you need to make decisions regarding the transaction.
Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who can help you manage all aspects of your Arizona real estate matter. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.