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Friday, February 3, 2012

What is "As Is" When it Comes to Real Estate?

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When it comes to understanding the phrase “as-is”, Virginia uses what is known as a “plain meaning” rule.  This means that words and phrases used in contracts are given their ordinary, everyday meaning.  The phrase “as-is” will generally be construed as meaning  that you are buying the house in its present condition without modification.

As the purchaser of real estate, the use of “as is” in your sales contract means that you should be diligent in observing and discovering  as much about the property as is possible both prior to contract and during contingency periods.  This means performing your “due diligence”, such as:

· Looking carefully at the house prior to entering into a contract (like kicking the tires on a car)
· Hiring a reputable and licensed home inspector and maybe one that offers insurance/guarantee
· Researching the property’s history with the local municipality’s departments such as taxation, public works, zoning, building and/or health and sanitation
· Engaging your insurance agent to ascertain the property’s claims history.

As your settlement agent we will have the title searched to check for any defects of title and have a survey performed discussing with you any problems or concerns disclosed thereby.  We will confirm that the Sellers are neither in bankruptcy nor on the Terrorist List as required by law.  We will make available to you title insurance which will indemnify you in the future against losses resulting from unknown title defects.

Should you have questions or desire more information about contracts for purchasing or selling real estate, please feel free to contact me or any of the attorneys of Pesner Kawamoto at 703-506-9440 or visit our website at

Susan M. Pesner

7926 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 930, McLean, VA 22102

Serving your real estate, litigation, family law and
estate planning needs.