Buying a Home in Sacramento in AS IS Condition

Home-for-sale-sacramentoAS IS — two simple words that seem to cause so much confusion in Sacramento real estate. I can say AS IS over and over until the cows come home and it doesn’t seem to sink in. My sellers can ask me to draw a counter offer or an addendum to a purchase offer that clearly states there are: no repairs, no credits, no renegotiations, as the home is sold in its AS IS condition, and buyers can sign that document, yet soon as their pen leaves the page, their memory of this contractual agreement vanishes. Did they dip a feather quill into lemon juice? Have a lobotomy?

My heart goes out to buyer’s agents who have to deal with the AS IS Condition issue day-in and day-out. They can explain that a seller will not give them a credit nor make any repairs but the buyers will still push. I realize that sometimes it’s not the buyers who are the problem — it can be their relatives or their coworkers or their drinking buddies: Hey, when I bought my house, the seller painted the entire interior, bought me all new appliances and threw in a Mercedes. The implication being that the buyer is a wuss or a nitwit. The self-important braggers neglect to point out this was 20 years ago or in a different city but the point is it is not this transaction. All transactions are different.

When I receive an email from an agent with a single sentence attempting to defy the AS IS, I know what happened. The sentence might say, my buyer is requesting a $3,000 credit to closing costs. Or, my buyer would like to know if the seller will split the cost of a new roof, which might have been a talking point during negotiations. So, the agent feels a little silly having to ask that question because the agent had already discussed it with the listing agent and the buyer prior to the offer. I know the agent pointed out the roof and said it was the buyer’s responsibility. And I know the buyer understood. And we both know that I know.

Still, the buyer’s agent must ask the question if the buyer poses it.

If the buyer’s agent thinks the buyer has half a chance of obtaining any of these requests — which the buyer had made after the buyer promised not to make them — the buyer’s agent will try to build a case for the buyer. But when there is no case presented, just the request, I know the poor agent is feeling the pain.

Buyers often don’t stop to consider that they might be irritating the seller with these types of requests. Especially when they tripped over the sidewalk walking up to the front door. They should not come back later after promising not to ask for repairs and demand that the seller replace the sidewalk. It makes the buyer look like an idiot (or conniving), none of which sets well with the seller. Any special requests the buyer might need down the road, such as an extension to close or any gifts such as refrigerators or washers and dryers are unlikely to be granted when a buyer attempts to break a promise.

If a buyer doesn’t want to handle the consequences of purchasing a home in its AS IS condition, then maybe the buyer shouldn’t try to buy a home under those conditions in a hot Sacramento seller’s market. It’s all a part of home ownership anyway. Things break, malfunction and stuff need to be updated, repaired and maintained — all during the life of a home buyer. It’s scary for a buyer starting out, and that’s where the buyer’s agent can be an invaluable tool.

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