What does it mean to buy or sell a house or property “as is.” How important is that?
It’s actually very important in Louisiana. Unlike most jurisdictions throughout the country in which the general rule is “buyer beware,” in Louisiana the situation is really closer to “seller beware.”
Redhibition The Louisiana law is called redhibition, and it entitles a buyer to obtain either a reduction of the purchase price or even a rescission of the sale if a latent or hidden defect is discovered after the sale (some type of defect).
The concept of redhibition can be waived by the buyer, however, and most or nearly all conventional closings involve the buyer agreeing to waive redhibition (the Louisiana “as is” clause), which needs to be set forth in detail in the agreement to purchase and the eventual act of sale.
This is something that must and should be discussed thoroughly with your Real Estate Agent. A buyer should understand that they should go ahead and inspect the property thoroughly and make sure they are happy with it because when the property is sold to you, the seller wants to be able to spend the purchase price without worry of having to refund the sale price.
Due to the redhibition concept, the seller really isn’t able to do so because if the buyer finds some defect down the road that may or may not have existed at the time of the sale, the buyer could claim that it existed at the time of the sale and sue the seller (unless the buyer waived redhibition). This is the reason why most sales involving real estate agents are “as is” and also involve detailed property inspections to provide buyers with security and peace of mind.
If the sale was not “as is” the buyer could then seek either a reduction in the purchase price or if the defect is bad enough, a rescission of the sale. In either event, the seller will have to defend a lawsuit, which would cause a lot of unhappy people except lawyers.
So don’t be alarmed about an “as is” transaction, just know going in that you need an inspection and that you as a buyer need to be comfortable with the condition of the property. The best way to achieve that comfort is with a team of professionals.