Sellers, Use Caution With an "As is Contract"

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Selling

We’ve all heard of caveat emptor, let the buyer beware…But how many of you have heard of caveat venditor? Which imposes a greater responsibility on the sellers themselves for the goods and services that they sell.

This blog/article is part of a series in which I will provide, over the next few weeks, insights and tips for sellers to better prepare for this intensely hot and highly profitable sellers’ market. Helping to ensure they not only get top dollar and and have a great experience, but that the sale is clean and doesn’t come back to bite them on their…well you know. The current real estate market is indeed exciting and very profitable for sellers who can take advantage of it and move quickly, NOW!

According to the Herald Tribune, in Sarasota home prices have jumped, on the average 12.7%, and even more in some zip codes, downtown, along the water and on the barrier islands. In December of 2020, closed sales increased by 40.2% and the number of luxury units selling at $3 million or more doubled.

Also, in the past year, especially in the past 6 months - most homes - once put on the market, have multiple offers, sometimes in the first day. With many selling over asking price, and the sales are closing rapidly. Plus, many homes are being sold as is, for cash and some with no inspection and even sight unseen. Crazy, right?

It’s truly a seller’s dream, who wouldn’t be excited! But in this crazy wonderful market there are some caveats that sellers need to be aware of….

The As Is Contract.
In this seemingly desirable and innocuous option let's look at a few things where a seller may need to tread lightly
 
1.     The As Is Sales Contract…what I am seeing, is sellers trying to seize the opportunity in this nimble and fast moving market by demanding their home be sold as is – so they can reap the               full  benefit and most ROI. This is great if a couple of things exist:

a. The home is in excellent condition or
b. You fully disclose all of the issues regarding any amenities or features that are included in the sale of the home and taking great care that these features/amenities are correctly described in the contract and the MLS listing.

Let me give you an example, recently a seller had their home on the market and one of the amenities/features was a spa, also known as a hot tub. The home was lovely, the grounds, pool and spa were beautiful. The sellers knew their home was well maintained and wanted top dollar with no inspection. Feeling confident the sale would go through quickly and they would get asking price, if not more.

Well indeed all those things did happen. Score! Well maybe not, here’s the rub…

When the buyers gained possession and moved in, within days – discovered that the hot tub/spa – was not hot! The heating element had burned out and in fact the heater did not work at all and was it easily determined it hadn’t worked in awhile. The sellers defense was, well we hadn't used the spa in years. We didn’t know and oh by the, our home was sold As Is.

Nope that “explanation” doesn’t work. Because this amenity was communicated in contract and in the MLS, as a hot tub/spa, it must be in the stated and assumable working condition. It was not referred to as simply a water feature  – but that it was a working hot tub/spa. Not only did the sellers have to pay to have the heater replaced – they also had to pay additional damages for not disclosing the fact that it was indeed, not “hot”.

Lesson/Take Away #1: If you are going to sell your property “As Is” make sure you absolutely know what is and is not working and disclose that item/feature included in the contract, is in the condition that is assumable or expected. If you haven’t used something for a while, check it out before stating the property/home has that feature.

This also goes for stating features or amenities within the public MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which is the data that is published on any website featuring the property/home, such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com

In the case above if the sellers simply would have stated they had a water feature and not a “hot tub” there would not have been an issue – so take care in the kind of descriptors or adjectives you use to convey the benefits and features of your home.

Lesson/Take Away #2: Always be transparent with your Realtor®, s/he can guide you in the process to help you safely take full advantage of this crazy wonderful market, ensuring the selling experience meets and/or exceeds your expectations.

 

Want to know more about the pros and cons of the As Is Contract for the seller and buyer?
Drop me a line I'm happy to help, I have an amazing team working with me and we can assist with you questions

You can e-mail me at stacy.shamberger@cbrealty.com or text/call me at  941-549-9598
View properties for sale in Sarasota at www.stacyshamberger.com 

Stacy is a Business and LifeStyle Strategist and a Realtor® for Coldwell Banker. She is based in beautiful downtown Sarasota (SRQ), where she lives,
works and plays. She enjoys taking advantage of all that SRQ life has to offer, including some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – such as Siesta Key, the
extensive cultural, art and music community, hiking, biking and you may even find her at a local driving range – hitting a few balls on a beautiful day!


Stacy is also a certified RSPS (Resort and Second Property Specialist). An RSPS specializes in buying, selling, or management of properties for
investment,
development, retirement, or second homes in resort, recreational, and/or vacation destinations, such as Sarasota.

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Original Image By: Dorchester Times