What is an "as is" contract?


In an "as is" contract, the seller will not make any repairs to the property prior to closing. However, even with an "as is" contract, the seller is obligated to disclose any know defects to the buyer.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Cisco, you're on News 96.5. Go ahead.

Cisco: Hi, good morning. I'm calling because I have a question in regards to buying a home "as is." I signed a contract to buy a home "as is", and I received the letter from the seller's attorney, stating that the seller is going to-- I mean, the attorney is going to represent the seller as a closing agent.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Cisco: I'm not sure. Does the seller and the buyer, myself, is closing agent? I thought it was just one closing agent for the both.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. First of all, most contracts these days, Cisco, are "as is", and "as is" contract simply means that prior to closing, your seller is not going to be obligated to pay for any repairs or termite treatment. Even in an "as is" contract, your seller is still required to disclose to you all known defects to the home. Now, when it comes to signing a contract, preparing a contract, reviewing a contract, that attorney could only represent one party, and clearly, he's representing the seller in this case.

Once the contract gets signed, the closing agent is supposed to be a neutral party, not representing the buyer, not representing the seller. I think that this lawyer is just doing a CYA for you, although he should be a neutral party, and if there's any problems, he should still be telling you, the buyer, what those problems are.

Cisco, most people are buying a piece of property. They're not having an attorney review their closing documents on their behalf. If you don't have a comfort level with that, Cisco, then you may want to talk to an attorney like me, to review the closing documents on your behalf and make sure everything is good.

Cisco: I just want to make sure I get this straight, because my mortgage company is already telling me that they are the ones that are going to be preparing all the closing stuff. They are going to represent me as a closing agent.

Attorney Tom Olsen: No, your mortgage company is going-- Your mortgage company is going to prepare all the loan documents, and your mortgage company is going to make sure your mortgage company is okay. They're not going to make sure you as a buyer are okay. Cisco, what I'm telling you is that everyday people are doing exactly what you're doing, and there's not a problem. If it would help you sleep better at night to have an attorney review your closing documents like me, then that could be money well spent.