All Contracts Created by the Texas Real Estate Commission are ?AS IS? Contracts
If you are buying a used house using the standard form from the Texas Real Estate Commission, ONE TO FOUR FAMILY RESIDENTIAL CONTRACT (RESALE),
then whether you knew it or not, you agreed to buy the house ?AS IS?. In Section 7(D) of that form it reads as follows:
"Buyer accepts Property in its present condition..."
The language ?accepts the Property in its present condition? has been found by Texas Appellate Courts to be the equivalent of an ?AS IS? clause. This clause is in every contract for every used home sold in Texas.
What difference does that make? Well it means you may have waived your rights to complain that the seller sold you a house with conditions you were not aware of but that the seller did know about. Or it could mean that your rights under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act are defeated by that ?AS IS? clause UNLESS you show that the seller fraudulently concealed the information from you. In other words, the DTPA would give you relief for termites and termite damage the seller says they did not know about, but with an ?AS IS? clause, you have to show that the seller intended to defraud you. That is a much tougher burden and it effectively means your rights have been diluted.
So while I and other Texas lawyers will continue to challenge judges and appellate courts that summarily use ?AS IS? clauses to defeat consumer claims, there is a new wrinkle to all of this. If you were represented by a realtor and that realtor did not tell you about this fact, then you have been deceived about the contract you were entering into. In other words, the buyer?s agent is now responsible to advise the buyer that the contract they are about to sign is an ?AS IS? contract.
If you have not bought your house yet, strike out the ?Buyer accepts the Property in its present condition?. Your realtor will freak out, but you will preserve your actual legal rights that you may need later.