You’ve probably seen listings for homes being sold “as is.” First-time buyers are sometimes tempted to buy an “as is” home if the price is low and the neighborhood is adequate. Tread carefully! The term “as is” could mean almost anything. This article will discuss the red flags you should look for and help you decide if “as is” is good enough for you.
What Does “As Is” Mean?
If a home is listed “as is,” the seller has no intentions of making any repairs to the house, and the buyer must purchase the home in its current condition. The home could be in pristine condition, or it could be a major fixer-upper. To sell a home, the only things legally required to be working are the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors!
What Can you Expect From Sellers?
Every jurisdiction has different laws regarding “as is” homes. Additionally, every home and every seller has their own story. You’ll need to play detective if you want the complete picture of an “as is” home. Disclosure requirements vary from state to state. Only some states require sellers to disclose any defects they know about when they list their homes for sale. Lucky for you, Colorado is one of these states.
However, sellers are only required to disclose problems they know about and aren’t required to commission an inspection of the home. Suppose you encounter an issue that wasn’t initially disclosed. In that case, proving the seller knew about it before the sale can be difficult. Make sure to get any disclosures in writing to protect yourself from fraudulent information.
How to Protect Yourself
Carefully review a home’s repair history. Some repairs are hard to identify and won’t be obvious to the buyer or an inspector. For example, water damage that is only repaired superficially may lead to structural problems later on. It’s essential to get a complete list of repairs from the seller.
Be extra cautious if the seller is a non-occupant. Buying an “as is” home is riskier if a non-occupant owns the property. Remember, sellers only have to disclose issues they know about. Accordingly, someone who hasn’t been living in the home may not know about every problem area.
Hire a qualified professional to inspect the home. If you include a home inspection contingency in your offer, you have a window of time to inspect the house. The inspection will give you a thorough idea of the home’s condition. The results will help you decide whether you want to go ahead with the sale. You can always walk away if you don’t want to take on all the necessary repairs.
Get bids from contractors. If you need to make repairs, contact contractors during this contingency period to get an idea of future costs. These estimates could help you at the negotiating table to bring down the price of the home.
Take It, Or Leave It
Overall, buying an “as is” home could make living in your favorite neighborhood possible or help you save money on your dream home. Take the proper steps to protect yourself, and make sure you are willing to dedicate the necessary time and money to repairs. With a little patience and luck, buying an “as is” home might be the best decision you ever make.
If you are considering buying a home, I’d love to help you find the perfect home for you and your budget. I have years of experience in Colorado real estate, and I can help you make your dream of owning a home a reality! Let’s get in touch!
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
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