The majority of homes sell “As Is” in South Florida which entitles the Buyer to an Inspection Period which I like to refer to as the “Due Diligence” period. This time period can be whatever is agreed to between the Buyer and Seller but is typically 7 – 15 days. I encourage all Buyers to learn from my first home-buying experience (i.e. mistake) and always get an inspection by a professional, which provides a snapshot of the property’s condition. I acquired my first home (a cute 2-bedroom villa) through a Mortgage Assumption, which did not require an inspection in order for me to assume the mortgage. (I don’t think banks allow this type of property transfer any longer.) Shortly after I moved in, I found that “dirt” collected on the window sills on a daily basis. Can you guess what this dirt was? Termites! Had I gotten an inspection, termites would have been discovered and I could have had the Seller tent & treat the property, rather than me having to take care of it right away. Lesson learned and something I share with all my Buyer clients – the importance of having an inspection!
Other considerations should be investigated during this period; examples include: reviewing the HOA deed restrictions in the event you want to add a fence around the perimeter and store your “toys” outside; determine County permit requirements in case you want to add a pool or a dock to your waterfront home; find out how much it will cost to make interior improvements, etc. It’s a time to explore your options without being concerned that someone else might snap up a property that you love and want to make your new home or next investment.
During the Inspection Period for an “As Is” contract, you can negotiate purchase credits or repairs to be made by the Seller, based on the inspection report findings. The best way to do this is to have your Realtor prepare an Addendum with your requests and send to the Seller’s Realtor for the Seller’s consideration. This must be done before the Inspection Period expires in order to protect your deposit. If you change your mind for any reason during the Inspection Period using an “As Is” contract or the Seller does not accept your request for credit/repairs, you can withdraw your offer and be released from the contract and have your full deposit returned. A Release and Cancellation form can be prepared by your Realtor; it should be completed and signed by the Buyer and presented to the Seller or the Seller’s agent before your Inspection Period expires.
This brief informational article focused more on Buyer aspects of the Inspection Period, stay tuned for my next newsletter installment when the Seller’s perspective will be discussed… What to do when a Buyer asks for repair credits in an “As Is” purchase?