Bank owned properties, investment properties, most flips, and sometimes regular sellers want you to buy a home "as is". Well for starters there is no such thing as "as is"in California. You have a right to do a home inspection and back out if you don't like the results. Banks put "as is" because they don't want to deal with any repairs. It doesn't necessary mean the home as major things wrong with it or that it's not a good deal depending on the comps in the area and the price you pay for it.
Most banks have their separate addendum that includes an incredible amount of verbiage that they make you sign before they sign off on your purchase contract. It pretty much sounds like our way or the highway. Usually banks are not from California and it's very important that the top of the addendum reads "Made Part of" and not "Supersedes" to the California Purchase Agreement. This is very important because if it reads "Supersedes" it can change all your rights in the California purchase agreement all together.
Bank owned sellers usually get upset if you ask for things that are seen with the naked eye before you write an offer.
Example: There is a broken window in the home.
If you know there is a broken window in the home you need to take that into consideration when you send the offer, not on the request for repairs. If it bothers you, offer less what you think it will cost to fix it. If you are going FHA it's very important your Realtor knows the items that will get called out in a FHA appraisal. You need to handle that in the beginning with your offer because usually a broken window has to be fixed before the close of escrow to qualify for your FHA loan. You can run into loan issues if it's not negotiated up front.
Let's say you get a home inspection done and the roof needs repair. Most people when looking for property don't climb on the roof to see if it needs to be fixed before they write an offer. If the roof has damage you can send the home inspection report along with a request for repairs asking the seller the items you would like to see fixed. At that point a few things can happen.
First the seller can refuse to fix anything, they can offer a credit instead, they can offer to fix some things but not all, they can offer to fix everything. You have to remember in the beginning that the seller does not have to do anything but then you have the right to back out and get your deposit back if you are in your contract contingency time frames. Some banks refuse to fix anything all the time. Most banks will fix habitable items that were discovered in the home inspection that weren't known before.
If all parties agree on getting items fixed I always recommend that it is done by the proper licensed professional and they provide a receipt. This is very important so you know it was done by a qualified professional and not the seller. Plus you have proof for records especially if you might need it for the home warranty so it doesn't have the possibility of being void.
If Sellers are unwilling to get things fixed try getting a credit.That way you can get it fixed how and by who you prefer. The request for repairs is always another negotiating time. Make sure you have received the termite report and all disclosures from the seller before you put in for a request for repairs. In California most banks are exempt from a lot a disclosures that a "normal" seller has to fill out. That's why I always recommend getting a home inspection.
Sometimes it runs smoothly and sometimes it doesn't. Both the buyer and seller have rights and options. Hopefully at the end of the day it works out for everyone. The point of this post though is to let buyers know they
don't have to be afraid of buying a house that says "AS IS" right off the bat.