What happens when an ‘AS IS’ property gets worse before closing?

We had an offer accepted on a bank owned ‘AS IS’ property. The day after
the acceptance, the property crawl space flooded. We could not get an
inspector to inspect a flooded crawl space.The bank agreed to pump out the
crawl space so we could get an inspection. They were never fully able to get
the water out but was going to try again. That was two weeks ago and there
is still water. We decided to go ahead with the inspection of everything else
so they were supposed to de-winterize the property for the inspection.They
did not. What we found was that whoever de-winterized broke the water feed
to the house so it cannot be turned on for the inspection. With two weeks of
water in the crawl space, we’ve noticed the wood floors are starting to buckle
a little bit. So does the ‘AS IS’ mean that they do not have to fix anything so
we can get it inspected? It was not wet when they accepted the offer, and it
was contingent on an inspection. We’re at a loss as to where responsibility
lies because of the ‘AS IS.’ Any information is appreciated
Thanks Brian

Asked on October 31, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, "as is" means only that it was "as is" as it was when you put the offer on the house and the contract was entered into: you take the house in the condition it was in when you agreed to buy it. The seller--whether a person or a bank--has to maintain the house in the condition it was when you agreed to the transaction. The owner (the bank) must repair any damage that occured after you agreed to the purchase; if they do not, you may be able to get out of the transaction if you wanted, or sue for damages (compensation; e.g. the cost to  repair). Based on the extent of potential damage you surprise, there may be alot of money at stake; you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


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