AS-IS...you've seen the form. We include it in many transactions - lender owned, short sales and even in regular sales particularly investor flips. But what does it REALLY mean?
Well...Google found many references:
From Cyberhomes: said of property offered for sale in its present condition with no guarantees as to quality and no promise of repair or fix-up by the seller; property is purchased in exactly the condition in which it is found.
From Wikipedia: As is is a legal term used to disclaim some implied warranties for an item being sold. Certain types of implied warranties must be specifically disclaimed, such as the implied warranty of title. "As is" denotes that the seller is selling, and the buyer is buying an item in whatever condition it presently exists, and that the buyer is accepting the item "with all faults", whether or not immediately apparent. This is the classic "buyer beware" situation, where the careful buyer should take the time to examine the item before accepting it, or obtain expert advice.
What does this mean for your buyer or seller? It means...what they want it to mean at that moment! For me, it depends on who I am representing at that time.
When I represent the buyer, it is a form the listing agent/seller has included in the purchase contract requirements. IF during our inspection, we find something that matters to the buyer I present it to the seller (be it a lender or private owner) for repairs. Sometimes they will remedy it - and sometimes they come back with no, the property is sold AS-IS. Then the decision is for the buyer to accept doing the repairs or canceling the offer. As a buyers agent, it's worth asking. Your buyers will love you if you get it accomplished.
When I represent the seller...I wait with baited breathe until the inspection period has passed! "WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY WANT REPAIRS???? Didn't they sign an AS-IS???" Uh, yes they did. They'd like the following repairs authorized - will you do them or risk losing the sale? Sometimes they are justified and sometimes they are just plain nit-picky. "The door weatherstripping is worn and needs replaced or the AC filter is dirty and needs replacement" REALLY??? Are you serious?
And sometimes, the seller needs to be reasonable and do the repairs to sell the property. Case in point - a lender owned property with the dreaded "T" word (wood destroying organisms). I wrote in the contract for the seller to treat. Nope. They countered back they would not. Uhhh HELLO - do you want to sell the property or not? Depending on the type of financing, this could be a condition of the loan. If you agree to treat, the property is no longer your responsibility, it has new owners and the neighborhood has one less vacant home. Leave it vacant and you risk vandalism and theft. Weigh the bottom line!
Either way, AS-IS really isn't!