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Some real estate contracts state that the house is being sold “as-is”. This essentially means that there is a mutual agreement between the parties: the seller will not make any repairs to the house before the closing and the buyer will not request such repairs.

Although the concept of an “as is” clause is simple, there are a few issues that both buyers and sellers should be aware of. First, if the buyer is getting a loan to purchase the property, the bank may require that certain repairs get done before the closing. This is most likely to happen when the buyer is getting an FHA or VA loan. Second, Massachusetts law requires home sellers to get a smoke certificate prior to selling their house. Sometimes installing or upgrading smoke and carbon monoxide deters in order to pass inspection can be costly, especially if the work requires hardwiring. Finally, the “as is” clause does not always deter hard-bargaining buyers from requesting repairs or reductions in the sale price. This happens more often than it should and it causes a lot of justifiable frustration among sellers.

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