What does “as is” mean in a Florida real estate contract?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions | 0 comments

When a seller includes “as is” in the purchase and sale agreement, they mean to sell the real estate property in its current state or condition. It does not mean there is anything wrong with the property. The seller adds this to a contract for convenience because they want to sell the property the way it is now without having to make repairs or modifications.

An “as is” provision does not necessarily mean the seller will never make repairs. The contract must still provide the buyer with an inspection contingency.

What is an inspection contingency?

Inspection contingencies give potential buyers an inspection period that allows them to examine the property thoroughly before pushing through with the purchase. They can hire a professional to help them identify material and latent defects. If an inspection reveals substantial problems with the real estate, the contingency allows the buyer to back out of the transaction without penalties.

Doesn’t the seller have an obligation to disclose defects?

The laws governing residential and commercial real estate are different in Florida. A seller has no affirmative duty to disclose material defects if the property falls under commercial real estate. However, they cannot attempt to conceal the problems and flaws from the buyer. They should also leave it “as is” so the buyer has a fair opportunity to discover the defect(s) on their own.

If the buyer finds faults with the real estate after their investigation, they can ask the seller to fix it or renegotiate the agreed purchase price. They also have the option to get their earnest money back and walk away from the deal. Buyers should always ensure their contracts protect their interests when investing in commercial real estate.