Why should I provide disclosures for an "as is" home sale? real estate, contract

Asked 10 months ago - Tampa, FL

Am selling a distressed home, FSBO. The buyer knows the house has many problems. They've had contractors inspect everything and they have an inspection period written into the contract. They probably know more than I do. And the sale is "as is". Still, they included a clause in the sales contract for me to provide disclosures. Don't I create some liability if I accept this clause and miss something? I don't know what unseen problems may exist.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Eugene P. Castagliuolo

    Contributor Level 15

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are required to disclose all problems ABOUT WHICH YOU ARE AWARE (sorry for the caps, but there is no other way to emphasize words in this answer box). Obviously, you are not required to disclose information which you possess or problems about which you have zero knowledge. However, be careful here, because down the road, were the buyers to learn that you failed to disclose something about which you were aware, you will be liable for their damages, cost to correct, etc. Even on a FSBO, I STRONGLY recommend that you pay for a little preventive medicine by having a good Tampa "dirt lawyer" review your contract. Good luck!

    I often take cases other attorneys won't, so call me for a free consultation. My number is 727-712-3333, or you... more
  2. Michael Emanuel Boutzoukas

    Contributor Level 8

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Florida, since the decision in Johnson v. Davis, the old standard changed of Buyer Beware does not apply to residential real estate transactions. The Seller is obligated to disclose material information that could affect the value of the property, and the condition of the property certainly falls into that category. There are other disclosures that may not automatically come to mind, such as an event that may have occurred on the property that could be shocking to ordinary sensibilities and therefore affect the value in the mind of the buyer. Disclosure is not only required but to the extent you do disclose, you may also begin to insulate yourself from liability as to matters you do disclose in a timely manner.

    This response do not establish an attorney-client relationship, and is a general response that could differ... more
  3. Celia R Reed

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the sale is 'as is' you still have to disclose what you know, especially if it's a defect the buyer cannot easily discover even with due diligence.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-... more
  4. Lorne Ethan Berkeley

    Contributor Level 2

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In an "as is" sale usually there are still rights to inspect. Review your contract to determine if it is "as is with rights to inspect" or "as is with no inspection rights." That will determine the type of disclosure required. However, you still can not conceal known issues regardless. Having an attorney review the contract and provide direction in these types of transactions is always recommended.

  5. Michael Jonathan Weber

    Contributor Level 3

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should fill out the disclosure to the best of your knowledge. Even though the house is "as is" that has no relevance to filling out a disclosure. If you sell the house and intentionally omit something (i.e. a disclosure about a defect), you run the risk of being sued post-closing for breach of contract actions. As is and what you are asking have no bearing on one another. BY law you are not required to fill out a disclosure however actually it protects you in that if you disclose something and then it surfaces post-closing they can't argue they had no knowledge about it. i would just make sure that your lawyer puts in the contract that any representations you make including on the disclosures are made to the best of your knowledge and shall not survive closing of title. period. hope that helps.

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