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Does an as-is listing for cash sale mean you can hide defects in a property?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2021 | Real Estate Law

Sometimes, when there are major issues with a property, it makes more sense to sell it than to invest in repairs or upgrades. Maybe you inherited a home from your parents that is a true fixer-upper. Perhaps you just regained possession of a rental home that the same tenant has occupied for years and let fall into disrepair.

Given the relative strength of the real estate market in Illinois these days, you might feel like selling the home now is a better choice than spending months and thousands of dollars making repairs. If you list your property in as-is condition and only accept cash offers, can you avoid listing every single problem with the property for potential buyers?

Illinois disclosure laws have strict requirements for sellers

You have a legal obligation to notify all potential buyers of known defects in a property before the sale concludes. Usually, the disclosure takes place via state documents that you fill out when listing the property before a buyer even makes an offer on the home.

You do not have to do an inspection to find defects before listing a house for sale as-is. However, what you know about an issue, you have an obligation to disclose it. The way that you list the property or the format payment takes will not reduce your responsibilities to the buyer under state law.

What if a buyer tries to make you pay for repairs?

If you have already closed on your home and have since heard back from an unhappy buyer, they may threaten to take you to court. Buyers who think you committed fraud by lying to them or withholding crucial information prior to the sale could invoke the disclosure law to try to hold you responsible.

Good legal advice and support while listing your property and preparing to close can help you avoid mistakes that could cause financial liability for you in the future.