Are There Any Legal Liabilities in Selling a House As Is?

Homeowners looking for a “sell my as-is home” contract must review the benefits and limitations of such sales. Selling a house as-is relieves you from various liabilities and misrepresentations about the property’s conditions. An as-is agreement allows the buyer to rely upon their investigations to determine whether or not to purchase the property. The seller doesn’t provide any representations, so they are protected from future failures.

As-Is Clauses and Legal Liabilities

When selling a house, you can determine whether or not to disclose the property defects and conditions. States have unique common-law duties, so sellers may still be liable even with an as-is contract. An as-is sale protects the seller from future failures if the buyer doesn’t do due diligence. The buyer must complete a reasonable investigation before purchasing the property to identify defects that could lead to future failures.

In an as-is contract, the seller grants the buyer rights to investigate the property before the purchase decision. If the buyer is satisfied with their assessments, they can’t blame the seller for defects they didn’t identify. Sellers are also prohibited from concealing flaws and must reveal specific issues that an investigation may not discover. As-is contract liabilities are all about defects and the duty to disclose them.

What You Aren’t Liable For

Selling a house as-is protects you from the duty to disclose defects if you are unaware of the flaws. You also won’t be liable for failures from defects the buyer knows or those readily discoverable through reasonable investigation. Sellers can remain silent about such defects and face no legal liabilities because it’s the buyer’s duty to conduct a proper investigation before purchasing the property.

What You Are Liable For

An as-is real estate contract has its limitations and won’t relieve the seller from their duty to report specific defects. Some sellers conceal defects with repairs and make affirmative misrepresentations to keep buyers from investigating/uncovering them. You’ll be liable for future failures if you prevent the buyer from discovering defects. Remaining silent about defects not readily discoverable by an investigation is also punishable.

As-Is Disclosure Liabilities When Selling A House

The as-is clause primarily protects players from unknown facts. If the house has defects the seller doesn’t know about, they won’t be liable for any failure or harm that stems from such defects. The clause doesn’t offer liability protection for intentional non-disclosure, misrepresentation, concealment, and other fraudulent antics. If sellers are aware of the following issues, they must disclose such defects:

  • Mold
  • Structural and foundational issues
  • Harmful chemicals and substances like asbestos
  • Faulty roofing

As-is contracts don’t shield sellers from necessary disclosures indicated for property transfer. Sellers should disclose facts that materially affect the house’s safety, value, and desirability. Anything that poses a threat to the safety of occupants and guests should be disclosed before the purchase, or else the seller will be liable to the buyer. Working with a reputable home buyer like GTG Buys Homes is one way to resolve all liabilities and guarantee zero liability after the sale. 

Avoiding Legal Liabilities In As-Is House Sales

Homebuyers can change their mind after purchasing a house and claim non-disclosure or misrepresentation. Non-disclosure is when the seller fails to reveal known defects. Misrepresentation occurs when the written affirmation from the seller offers false information. Sellers can protect themselves from misrepresentation liabilities by using as-is contracts together with the following:

Granting Broad Inspection

The best thing a home seller can do to avoid liabilities is grant broad inspection rights to the buyer. It allows the buyer to investigate the property and determine defects independently. The seller doesn’t need to provide any investigation representations to the seller. Granting broad inspection eliminates misrepresentation liabilities.

Disclosing Hidden Defects

Sellers should disclose any known defects, especially those not readily discoverable by the buyer. Some defects compromise the safety or limit property use. If someone gets hurt in the future due to defects that existed before the purchase, the buyer can hold the seller liable. Try to provide written disclosure of the critical defects not discovered by the buyer.

Work With A Home Buyer

Selling directly to the client comes with various responsibilities and liabilities than using a home buying company. Home buying companies can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the value of your house and uncover all defects. The company will then complete necessary improvements and carry liabilities for any defects revealed later on to the final buyer.

How Do I Sell My As-Is Home?

Selling a home is an exciting and daunting process, especially if it’s your first time. Each state has different property transfer requirements, and some casesa may call for an attorney. Working with trustworthy home buyers and listing agencies can reduce the effort required. Homebuyers also save you from various liabilities.

At GTG Buys Homes, our goal is to create top-quality housing. We buy as-is homes with cash, rehabilitate, and resell or rent them after a full renovation. Our team is readily available to assess your house and provide quick cash for the agreed value. We’ll take care of the contracts and liabilities, allowing you to cut off all ties with the property and its liabilities.