What does “as is” mean in residential real estate listings?

There are many pitfalls to avoid when searching for a new home, especially if it is your first purchase. Since you want a fair price and as little hassle as possible, you may look twice at “for sale as is” listings. These ads sound like you can simply pay the asking price and move right in.

You may be able to conclude your real estate purchase quickly and easily by buying such a home, but do not overlook possible signs of a poor deal. Consider the factors below before you finalize an as-is home purchase.

No negotiating period

Sometimes a property is sold as is mere because the seller does not want the stress of negotiating with potential buyers. There may not be anything amiss with the property, but without the ability to negotiate, you may not get a good deal.

Unaddressed property defects

Often, there are significant defects in real estate offered on an as-is basis. While Illinois requires sellers to disclose material defects, the seller may be trying to skirt this requirement. Addressing foundational defects, water intrusion and insect infestations (to name just a few) typically means enormous costs on top of what you paid for the home.

In Illinois, a legal representative must review your final purchase agreement before you add your signature. Since you must work with a legal professional anyway, it makes sense to consult with one when considering any home purchase.

Taking this step improves your odds of finding residential real estate that serves you and your family well. It can also help ensure your deal is a true bargain rather than a lemon in disguise.