By September 21, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Can I Sell “As Is” A House I Inherited?

Question: I’ve been offered a reasonable price on a house I inherited. I want to sell it in “as is” condition. What things should I look out for to protect myself during escrow and after closing?

Answer: The matter of “as is” sales has evolved during the past decade or so. The best advice used to be “caveat emptor” –- buyer beware, but now it is both buyer and seller use care.

The issue here is that you can plainly sell a home on an “as is” basis. At the same, many would argue that “as is” does not mean a seller has a license to simply sell a damaged property to an unwary buyer. In general, owners must disclose what they know about a property even in an “as is” sale situation.

Given the current trend, sellers wishing to sell on an “as is” basis should take several steps.

First, require the buyer to obtain an independent home inspection with an inspector selected, hired and paid for by the purchaser. In exchange for the right of the inspector to enter the property, require the buyer to give you a copy of the completed inspection for your records. Keep this document with your closing papers.

Second, “as is” requirements vary by state. Depending on the state, either a real estate broker working with language from an attorney or an attorney directly should write a proper “as is” clause. This clause should be written to “survive” closing (have standing after the sale is completed and the matter goes to court).

Third, properly and fully complete any required seller disclosure form to the best of your ability. Review with a broker or attorney – this document should be seen as relating to the “as is” agreement.

Fourth, if you are not living in the property, see if it can be sold as “commercial” real estate. An attorney can explain if this is possible and the advantages which might be available in a given jurisdiction.

Syndicated originally by Content That Works and posted with permission.

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