WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RESIDENTIAL CONTRACT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE AND AN "AS-IS" RESIDENTIAL CONTRACT FOR SALE AND PURCHASE?

First, regardless of whether the contract is As-Is or not, the seller has a duty to disclose to the buyer any facts that materially affect the value of the real property which are not readily observable.

A very good contract to use is the Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase or the "As-Is" Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase which has been approved by the Florida Realtors and the Florida Bar.

In an As-Is Contract, the buyer will have a certain amount of time as provided in the contract to have such inspections of the property performed. If the buyer determines, in buyer's sole discretion, that the property is not acceptable to buyer, the buyer may terminate the contract.

For the Non-As-Is Contract, the buyer shall have a certain amount of time to conduct a "general", wood destroying organisms and permit inspections. Once the inspections are complete, seller is obligated to remedy any problems. However, seller may either repair the items or obtain a second inspection. If buyer and seller cannot resolve the differences between buyers and seller's inspection reports, buyer and seller together shall choose, and equally split the cost of a third professional inspector whose written report shall be binding on the parties.

The maximum cost to remedy the defects is 1.5 % of the purchase price for each, general repair, wood destroying organism and permit issue.

Upon the day prior to the closing date or on closing date prior to time of closing, buyer or buyers representative may perform a walk thru inspection solely to confirm that all items of personal property are on the property and to verify the seller has maintained the property as required by the maintenance requirement, has made repairs and replacements required by the contract and made all other contractual obligations.

During the real estate boom, the "As-Is" Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase was mostly used.

Regardless of which agreement you use, beware that the details of the agreement determine the terms of your purchase. Detrimental provisions in the contract may not be corrected or avoided later in the transaction. The best time to retain an attorney is before the contract is signed.

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