What You Need to Know About “As is Where is”
When looking to progress your insurance claim, make sure that your insurer provides you with all the options.
This may include repairing or rebuilding your home; building a new home on another section; you buying an existing home elsewhere; or cash-settling your claim while you retain your damaged property.
Some insurance companies require your home to meet a certain standard if you wish to occupy or on-sell.
So what exactly is selling ‘as is, where is’?
Essentially selling as is where is equates to cash settling both your EQC and insurance claims, retaining these funds and then selling your home on the open market without carrying out any significant repairs. Other property may also be sold ‘as is’ where the property was uninsured at the time of the earthquakes.
Written confirmation of insurance offer
Whatever option you choose, make sure that you receive the offer in writing from your insurer. This is important for your records and proof of your settlement (excluding settlement figures) may be needed when selling.
Take legal advice
Before signing anything be sure to have your solicitor approve it prior to proceeding. A couple of words incorrect can have dire consequences and significantly jeopardize your future plans if left unchecked. Choose a solicitor who has become very well-versed with insurance settlements as their knowledge and experience is often invaluable.
Why the demand?
Due to retaining both EQC and insurance settlements you offer the home to the open market at an attractive price due to the property being uninsured. This is normally well below current market value for an equivalent undamaged and fully insured home. The buying public generally perceive this to be an excellent opportunity to secure an affordable property.
Is an engineer’s report important?
Yes – it’s essential, as it does two things – it addresses the question in the back of a buyer’s mind of “is this house safe?” and secondly it forms the absolute baseline of representation.
Will anything come back to bite me?
Peter Griffioen from Harcourts Gold stated that you need to use a real estate company like his that knows all the appropriate clauses to enter into the sale and purchase agreement. Get a solicitor that specialises in the area such as Sarah Fitzgerald of Mortlock McCormack Law to advise you prior to proceeding with the sale or purchase of your “as is where is” property. Sarah has experience in assisting clients with all “as is where is” properties and insurance settlements.
Should I make improvements?
It is important that your home is represented with transparency to the open market with an engineer’s report that was completed prior to any improvements. We have found however, that the buying public generally respond more favourably to a home following cosmetic repairs due to the aesthetic appeal. Reminder to photo all the improvements and best to get a PC4 from an engineer so you have a better chance of the purchaser getting the house insured.