Updated on February 8, 2022
Most property is sold “as is”, but what does that really mean? It means the homeowner or vendor is selling the home in its current condition – no improvements, renovations, or repairs prior to the sale. The market really dictates that most property is sold “as is” and it is typically because the seller does not want to do work on the house prior to selling it. It is also consistent with the idea that the buyer is buying what the seller is selling and nothing more.
That said, selling a property “as is” does not mean the seller can misrepresent the condition of the property or fail to disclose undesirable conditions. A seller must still legally disclose any material known facts regarding the condition of the property.
As a general rule, anyone selling residential real estate property containing one to four units in California must complete and provide written disclosures to the buyer describing material facts. Material facts are facts the buyer would find important or determinative to their decision to purchase the home. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as properties that are transferred by court order or from one co-owner to another. A couple of examples of material facts that one as a seller should disclose are: structure problems, leaky roofs, flooding basements, or neighborhood noise problems.
There is a standard California Association of Real Estate form,”Transfer Disclosure Statement” that you, the seller, may use to make the disclosures required by California Law, Civil Code section 1102, et. seq. You must also complete the Natural Hazard Disclosure Report/Statement. Additional disclosure statements, such as those pertaining to special study zones or purchase money liens, might also be required, depending on the location and details of your real estate transaction.
A seller’s failure to make accurate and complete disclosures regarding the condition of a property they are selling is often the subject of a legal dispute. Accordingly, the seller must take their legal obligation to make truthful disclosures serious – even in an “as is” sale. After all, “as is” assumes the the buyer is told the material facts about the property.
In the end, if you decide to sell your property “‘as is”, you still have an obligation to disclose material facts known to the buyer. Our Los Angeles Non-Disclosure attorneys have extensive experience dealing with non-disclosure matters pertaining to the purchase and sale of real property. To schedule a consult, please contact us at (310) 954-1877 or fill out our message form here.