Does buying a property as-is mean you’re on the hook for defects?

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Does buying a property as-is mean you’re on the hook for defects?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2021 | real estate transactions

When you buy a new residential property, the price that you pay usually reflects the condition of the property and the neighborhood where it is located. Whether you intend to rent it out, flip it for profit or live in it yourself, you expect that the home will be in the condition advertised by the seller.

Sometimes, sellers list properties that need a lot of work in as-is condition. If you bought a home in as-is condition and have discovered obvious defects that the seller must have known about, do you have any right to recourse under Illinois real estate law? 

How a seller advertises the property does not affect their obligations

Illinois law is clear about the fact that sellers have an explicit obligation to inform potential buyers of all known property defects. Buyers can only make an informed decision about buying the property with adequate disclosure from the seller.

Listing the property as a fixer-upper, in need of TLC or in as-is condition does not exempt a seller from their obligation to let the buyer know about issues with the wiring, the plumbing, the foundation or other systems that aren’t readily apparent during a visual inspection.

Disclosure laws necessitate providing information about defects regardless of how a seller lists the property for sale or the amount of money they receive for it. Taking legal action when you discover a major defect in a home you recently purchased requires research and preparation. However, with the right documentation, you may be able to recoup some of your losses and hold the seller accountable for their unethical misrepresentation of the property.

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