What Does “As-Is” Really Mean in As-Is Real Estate Purchase Agreements?
In many real estate purchase agreements, you may see a property is being sold “as-is.” Does “as-is” really mean the property is being sold “as-is?” Not necessarily. If a seller has knowledge of material defects that affect the value of a property that were not readily observable or known by the buyer and the seller failed to disclose to the buyer these defects, the buyer has remedies against the seller in Florida, even in as-is real estate purchase agreements.
“As-Is” Standards of Real Estate Agreements
A Florida Supreme Court case, Johnson v. Davis, got rid of the previous standard of caveat emptor or “buyer beware” in real estate transactions. The new standard is “that where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer. This duty is equally applicable to all forms of real property, new and used.” Id. at 629
Examples of defects that materially affect the value of a property with as-is real estate agreements could be roof leaks, foundation issues, or hidden mold. If you believe an “as-is” property you have purchased had hidden material defects, you should contact an experienced attorney.