What Does "As Is" Really Mean?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Hamm Homes

Why do Realtors feel compelled to throw out the "As Is" term when trying to get buyer's agents to limit the requests on inspections?

I am representing a buyer on a property that is 30 years old.  We offered the seller ALMOST full price for the property.  In fact, we came in at 98.5% of the asking price.  In today's market, I think that is a great offer.

I have been trying to schedule the home inspection with the listing agent and she keeps telling me that the home is sold "As Is".  I'm sorry, but for a property that is over $450,000, why would the listing agent or the seller think that my buyer would agree to an "As Is" condition?

I have been trying to explain to the other agent that the contract allows for an inspection of the property and we should get through that process before we make blanket statements about the outcome.  I am trying to play nicely.

My business partner, Belinda, doesn't always play as nicely as I.  She was very upset when she heard this and shot an email off to the agent.

Here is what her email stated:

Will keeps telling me that you are saying that the home in BLANK is sold As Is.I'm confused about this.  When did we ever agree to buy the home As Is?  It doesn't specify that in MLS and if it did we would have never written an offer on that home.It will be a miracle if there are no inspection items considering the age of the home.  Our contract specifies the right to have an inspection with a deadline and a resolution deadline for your seller.  The offer we made was almost full price.  At no time did any of us assume that the home is sold As Is. We will do the inspection and let you know if any issues arise. If for some reason BLANK refuses our right to have the inspection done, I feel certain that my buyers will cancel the contract and move on.

I love working in a team because there are many times when one of us needs to be the bad guy.  Glad she took the black hat today and wrote this email. 

Of course, the agent called me to complain and whine a bit, but I told her to hang loose until we actually perform the inspection. 

Every day is a new challenge in the world of real estate!



Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chuck Carstensen 06/22/2011 12:00 PM
  2. Doug Patterson 06/23/2011 03:22 AM
  3. Lelis Navas 06/23/2011 06:46 AM
  4. Eva Erdmann 06/26/2011 02:25 AM
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as is condition

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Michael Singh

I always say great once we have an inspection done we will all know what as is condition REALLY is.

Jun 24, 2011 07:56 AM #207
Thomas Haught
The Russell Realty Group - Saugus, MA

Thomas HaughtIn my opinion, there really is no "as-is" either.  Almost all P&S contracts I have seen include a right to have an inspection, but the seller always has the right to refuse to fix almost anything.  If that is the case, obviously most buyers walk away from the property.

Jun 24, 2011 10:12 AM #208
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Thanks all for all the different theories and all the comments.  I am so sorry, I did read everyone but have not had time to respond back, normally I respond back but have been just so busy in the last 48 hours with taking 2 new listings and selling 2 homes and pick up some new buys.  Thanks again, I always value AR memebers imput!!

Jun 24, 2011 01:23 PM #209
Jay Barron

Dear Will,

Every home purchase with the exception of new construction is sold "as is" unless there are specific warranties or representations, which there almost never are. However, the Buyer has a right to determine what condition the property is in to determine what "as is" is. Is "as is" with a rotten sill or not. Several comments were already made to this point but I thought that I would chime in.

Jun 24, 2011 03:41 PM #210
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

AS IS does not mean total blind faith there are no problems. It has actually been said several times above that "AS-IS" generally means no repairs - even in government contracts - but no inspections is not part of the "AS-IS" clause. 

Jun 24, 2011 05:02 PM #211
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

Colorado is obviously a different kettle of fish. Why would a buyer and buyer's agent assume there are built-in repair allowances, no matter the price? You must have a different kind of contract. On the other hand I think the listing agent's blocking an inspection is outrageous.

In California ALL home purchases are deemed as-is and it says so in the purchase contract. That does not mean the buyer cannot

a. schedule any inspection he/she darn well pleases

b. ask for repairs based on the inspection findings

Granted, asking the seller to bring a 30-year old home up to today's standard will not get the buyer anything, except the seller's snub. But 90% of home sellers will make some reasonable repairs, unless the home is a short sale and the seller is flat broke.


Jun 25, 2011 05:45 AM #212
Cindy L. Nesbitt
Coldwell Banker Premier Realty - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor(R), ABR, SRES, SFR

Hi Will,

I know I am not saying anything new, but like so many of the the other responses, I ALWAYS write my offers to be contingent on satisfactory home inspection and appraisal.  In Nevada, the due diligence period is built right in to the purchase agreement and I always ask for a 10 day window.

Thanks for sharing that not all incompetent agents are in the same place!

Jun 25, 2011 05:56 AM #213
Michael HassanPour
Beverly Hills-Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North - Beverly Hills, CA
Esq. Beverly Hills Properties, Brentwood, Bel Air

As some have mentioned here, California contracts are "As-Is" by default; however, they also allow 17 days of inspection by default.

Buyer and Seller are free to negotiate on any needed repairs after the inspection. If seller wants a true As-Is, the Buyer must waive rights to inspections. We have a form for that too.

Jun 25, 2011 07:02 AM #214

For sure all buyers have the right to an inspection...I'm seeing the phrase "as is" or "seller to make no repairs" in a lot of listings. Many sellers are cash poor and/or have zero equity...hence no funds for repairs. As a buyers agent I can ask for repairs all day long but typically this comment means there are no funds for repairs. I appreciate knowing the situation before my buyer wastes time/money inspecting a house that may put them over their head. 

Jun 25, 2011 04:06 PM #215
Julia St. Marie
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV

In Las Vegas....

"As is" means the purchase of a property in it's current condition whereas seller will not make repairs.

Therefore the Inspection is for the buyer to know and to be informed as to what "as is" is so that buyer may make the decision if he wants to purchase the property in it's current condition.

Jun 25, 2011 08:10 PM #216
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

IMO the term "As Is" tells me there is something wrong with the house (as is the case with ANY house). Using it when you discuss scheduling an inspection, makes me feel that the faults are trying to be hidden. OK, it is possible that there is nothing being hidden, but the seller has decided that what he is asking is his rock bottom price, and whatever is wrong; "either take it or leave it." That's OK, that's his right.

Regardless, even if it is the rock bottom price, your buyer would be foolish not to have an inspection, if for no other reason than to have the information he needs to decide whether he (she) wishes to get involved at all.

And... even if one of the terms of the sale being offered is "as is," just like the price is one of the terms of the offer, there is nothing wrong or unusual with your buyer "countering offering," and stating that he wants XYZ either corrected or negotiated into the price. All that can be said is either "yes" or "no."

Get an inspection or walk!


Jun 25, 2011 11:51 PM #217
Barry Cohen

We inspect homes being sold As-Is all the time.  Any seller can say that the home is being sold "As Is", but why would any buyer buy a As Is home without a inspection.  As is means that the seller doesnt want to pay for any repairs.  The purpose of the inspection is to evaluate the extent of issues going on in the home.  If there is a long list of expensive repairs or upgrades, well, thats an opportunity for the buyer to walk away, or try and negotiate the price further.  Regardless, every home, especially an "As IS' home, should have a home inspection performed.


Jun 27, 2011 03:43 AM #218
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

In Vancouver we don't use the "As Is" clause much and usually only in 2 situations. 1. The house has been identified as a tear down or 2. the property is in foreclosure and the bank will not guarantee the condition. Buy at your own risk. Otherwise, bring on the inspection! If the seller knows about some items of concern, they can list them on the Property Disclosure Statement and they can let the buyer know if they will be addressed or not before the offer is negotiated (sometimes this works but . . . )

As is / where is doesn't protect the seller from underground oil tanks, grow ops etc.




Jun 27, 2011 08:43 AM #219
Peter Sigurdson

In Toronto I see "As Is" ALL THE TIME with bank sales, and with houses being sold by the children or other executors of the estates of decreased owners.  My understanding is that in this case, I or my clients can't expect a valid answer if you ask the seller, "Does the Stove work?", "Does the basement leak?", "Is there noise in the area at any times?", "Is there crime in this area?".   The estate executor or bank employee who is managing the sale has never lived in the house or cooked with that stove - So, who would they know?  Get 10 home inspections, pay the price you want to pay, just don't come back later and complain that the backyard abutting neighbour plays drums to all hours and you weren't warned about it.  You bought the propery, "As IS"

Jun 27, 2011 04:34 PM #220
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH


"As Is" can sometimes be a necessity, such as in short sales as there is no money to make repairs..or in the sale of an estate, again sometimes because there is no money or because the administrator will not take responsibility for repairs, etc. However, I always disclose in MLS.

Jun 28, 2011 02:55 AM #221
Bill Morrow
Keller Williams of Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
Bill Morrow, Associate Broker

Even if the property is being sold "As Is", the buyer has the right to determine what "As Is" is.  The seller most certainly has the perogative not to make any concessions after the investigation period as the buyer has the same perogative to walk away should they be uncomfortable with the findings.  Many agents use the inspections as a hold back negotiating tool.  I was in a conversation recently where the agent for the buyer told me the seller they were dealing with was a "tough nut" but we'll be able to get the buyer the price they want after the inspection is completed. Is this really negotiating in good faith?

Jun 28, 2011 08:33 AM #222
Kevin D.


Great post and comments regarding the "As-Is" issue.  Glad your sidekick stepped up to the plate and cleared the issue with the listing agent.  Problem solved and the listing agent definitely got a little wiser.  However, it seems rather odd that a few self-declared experienced agents are using your post as a platform to glorify themselves and attack ALL new or "inexperienced" agents.  As a young agent with 4+ years of experience, I am offended by their rude comments.  What were these people thinking?  So, they were naturally "experienced" in real estate from the very humble beginning of their career some 80 years ago???  How ridiculous, disrespectful and ignorant of fellow Realtors.  My 2 cents.

Kevin D., Global Home Realty, LLC, Fairfax, VA.

Jul 03, 2011 12:42 AM #223
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Wow, lots of comments!  Even on bank owned properties that say they are "As Is" we still do an inspection and request items and sometimes the bank does the items on those "As Is" properties.  Anyway, in my area "As Is" doesn't negate the ability to do an inspection or to follow the inspection contingency guidelines.  It's more of a heads of that if anything comes up and you ask for it the seller will most likely say no.  But, sometimes they say yes... - Kasey

Jul 11, 2011 06:14 PM #224
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
Sometimes I am amazed at some agents, and their lack of understanding of how a real estate transaction works. Was this the listing agents first sale? If it's not specifically in the contract that it's being sold "as-is", then it's not. And even if it is, the buyer still has the right to an inspection, to know if there are any hidden defects that would cause them to withdraw the offer. Just crazy...good for your partner for laying the smack down on that misinformed agent.
Dec 26, 2011 03:26 AM #225
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

A house can be sold as is. For a Buyer to purchase a house without an inspection is crazy. The Buyer has to know what they are getting into, even if no repairs are completed.

Sep 25, 2012 12:06 AM #226
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"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"
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