Florida real estate contracts may sound intimidating when selling or buying a home in Florida. This is why you are always advised to hire a Florida Realtor® to assist you in any real estate transaction you are initiating. One of the most commonly used Florida real estate contracts is the Far-Bar "As-Is" contract. This contract was written by the Florida Bar Association in collaboration with The Florida Realtors® Association. Real estate contracts in Florida are pre-written contracts where your Realtor® fills in the blanks under certain provisions in accordance with what you are offering for the home. Florida contracts are written to protect both the Seller and the Buyer and the contracts perform in the best interest of both parties. Many Florida Realtors® act as "Transaction Brokers" who represent either the seller or the buyer but have no fiduciary responsibility to their customers. You can read more about "Transaction Brokerage Relationships" here.
The Far-Bar "As-Is" Contract is widely used in our local market today. Here are some clarifications about the perception of an "As-Is" contract:
As-Is Does NOT necessarily mean the home has a major defect or issue.
As-Is Does allow the buyer to perform a home inspection and decide whether or not to proceed with the purchase based on the findings in the home inspectors report.
As-Is Does mean you can ask for repairs based on the findings in the home inspection report. **Provided the repairs are necessary to facilitate the sale and are deemed necessary by the inspector** (i.e. a pipe leak or hazardous electrical issues)
As-Is Does mean that the seller must maintain the property in the same condition it is in at the time the contract to purchase was executed. (if the a/c breaks before closing, seller fixes it)
As-Is is not considered to allow for beautification of the home as a contingency of the contract. You can always ask, but seldom will the seller agree. This pertains to things like painting a bedroom a different color or having carpeting replaced.
Often times your Realtor® may say "this home is being sold "as-is" for Sellers convenience". Generally it is the sellers way of saying that barring any major defect that must be addressed or repaired, what you see is what you get and we will not remove the duck wallpaper border from the kitchen. When buying a home there is no need to be overly concerned with a home being sold "As-Is" and I suggest you rely on your inspection and the information provided by your real estate professional. If you are selling a home, I suggest you consult with your Realtor® about how you want to market your home. "As-Is" or Not?
I recommend you consult with your attorney prior to selling or buying a home to get full legal understanding of the Florida Real Estate Contracts. I am not an attorney and the information provided is not to be considered as legal advice.
Written by, Michael J. Gallo