Many people still think that selling a property “as is” means "buyer beware." And while properties are nearly always listed "as is," those two little words are defined by two bigger words - "disclosures" and “contingencies." One of my favorite “Rockyisms,” as we like to call quotable sayings from our wonderful CB Sales Manger, Rocky Vannucci, goes like this: ”We can’t sell a property as-is until we know what as-is, is.”
Disclosures of every manor are required of the seller under a number of laws governing requirements for residential sales. Through the disclosure requirements the seller must acknowledge all “material facts” about the property. In compliment to that, buyer’s are allowed a period for investigations that can be conducted under a contingency clause. During that time they can hold the property in a binding contract until they have concluded the period agreed to for discovery and investigations and have removed the contingency by written notice.
So while the buyer cannot conduct any investigations past the contingency period, any new facts about the property that surface later can present major problems for sellers if they failed to disclose something up front. In other words, “fess up now or get sued later.” If something is unknown by the seller but the buyer discovers it later, the seller is not liable. The moral to this story is - disclose everything, investigate everything. The more that is known about exactly what the property "is," - the better for both sides to have a smooth transaction. Several documents throughout the process warn buyers not to purchase without investigating. And while sellers want those "no contingencies" offers, it is rarely in their best interest to take them.