Sellers of Residential Real Property Beware: “As Is” Clause Does Not Protect You from Your Statutory Duty to Disclose Material Defects
The PA Superior Court has just ruled, in a Dauphin County case, a seller of residential real property must provide a seller’s disclosure statement and the traditional “as is” clause in real estate sales agreements does not waive that requirement. Stated differently: the “as is” clause does not negate the seller’s statutory duty to disclose to a prospective buyer any material defects with the property by way of a property disclosure statement. See Phelps v. Caperoon, 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 674 (June 18, 2018).
Pursuant to the Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law (RESDL), 68 Pa. C.S. Sections 7301-7315, a seller “who intends to transfer any interest in real property shall disclose to the buyer any material defects with the property known to the seller by completing all applicable items in a property disclosure statement.” The PA Superior Court held there is no exception in the statute to the seller’s disclosure requirement and the word “shall” means it is obligatory.
The lesson to sellers of residential real property is this: even if you have an “as is” clause in your sales agreement and even if the buyer has waived the right to conduct an inspection of the property, the seller must always disclose any material defects the seller knows of at the time as required under the RESDL.
If you are a seller or buyer of real property or intend to be one in the near future, do not hesitate to contact Scaringi Law at 717-657-7770 for legal assistance. We not only represent sellers and buyers of real property, but we also offer title insurance and settlement services.