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Dominika Purcha

If you’re selling your house ‘as-is’ in Illinois, you might wonder what disclosures are required by law. Illinois doesn’t let you off the hook just because you’re selling as-is. You must still inform potential buyers of known problems like structural or environmental issues including but not limited to issues with the septic tank, issues with drinking water, issues with excessive radon levels, or even any known flooding.. This article will guide you through the critical disclosure obligations when selling a house as-is in Illinois, giving you the confidence to proceed with your sale backed by legal know-how.

Can I Sell A House “As-is” In Illinois?

Yes. Selling a house “as-is” is permitted by law. Selling a property “as-is” comes in handy when selling a home needing TLC, which may need major repairs that the current owner is unwilling to investigate or fix.  It is always a good idea to talk to a trusted Illinois real estate attorney when it comes to buying or selling a house as is.  

  • What does selling a property “as-is” mean?  
  • What must the seller disclose in an “as-is” property sale?  

Illinois Disclosure Requirements for As-Is Home Sales

When selling a house as-is in Illinois, it is important to adhere to the disclosure requirements outlined by law. These obligations are intended to protect buyers by ensuring they have full knowledge of the property’s condition before finalizing the purchase, which is essentially what “house as is” means.

You may wonder what constitutes a material defect. To understand this, it is necessary to familiarize oneself with the state’s disclosure laws which require sellers to disclose all known significant defects such as issues related to septic tanks, drinking water quality, and levels of radon gas.

Material Defects

In regard to material defects, these are significant problems that have the potential to impact the value or desirability of a property. These issues may include major structural concerns, hazardous conditions, or environmental hazards. Sellers must disclose any known information regarding the condition of their property based on their personal knowledge and regardless if it is being sold “as-is”.

This obligation remains even if you no longer live in the property within 12 months prior to selling (such as by renting out or inheriting). This means that if there are plumbing problems like leaks, old pipes, or frequent clogs present in your home for sale, you must inform potential buyers about them. The duty stands true whether they purchase your house ‘as-is’ or not.

Drinking Water, Septic Tanks, and Radon Levels

Illinois sellers have a responsibility to provide thorough information about drinking water, septic tanks, and radon levels when selling real estate. This includes supplying buyers with the “Radon Testing Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions” brochure and completing the “Illinois Disclosure of Information on Radon Hazards” form. If any radon tests were conducted, it is mandatory to disclose the results, particularly if they reveal high levels of this harmful gas.

Any known issues or history of repairs with the septic system must be clearly disclosed to potential buyers in order to give them full understanding before purchasing real estate property.

Local Ordinance Violations and Lawsuits

During the disclosure process, it is important to not overlook any issues related to local ordinances and lawsuits. As a seller, you are required to inform potential buyers if your property is currently in violation of any local laws or regulations. Ongoing legal disputes concerning the property must also be disclosed before listing it.

Being honest about these matters not only ensures transparency, but can also protect you from possible legal complications in the future.

What Implications Come With Selling A House “As-is”?

More often than not, properties sold “as is” are in some way defective, and the seller does not want to make these repairs. These defects must be disclosed if they arise to the level of being material. Material defects are those that would be harmful to any future resident’s safety or health or in some way devalues the property. (insert link to my other article re: mold disclosures )  

The flip side of selling a property “as is” is that it is likely to sell for less money than it otherwise would if the property was not in “as-is” condition. However, selling a property that needs TLC “as-is” gives buyers less negotiating power because the price is presumably already discounted to reflect the cost of repair that the property may need.  

Selling a property “as-is” is an excellent tool to maximize profits when selling a property in less than stellar condition. To learn more information about the process of selling a home in Illinois visit read our article, What to Expect When Selling a Home in Illinois

Home for Sale in Iliinois

I’m Selling The Property “As-is” Do I Still Have To Provide Disclosures To The Buyer?

Yes. A disclosure report must be completely filled out and provided to the potential buyers. This report includes disclosing any material defects that you are aware of, including but not limited to issues with the septic tank, issues with drinking water, issues with excessive radon levels, or even any known flooding.    

In addition, you must also disclose whether the property is currently in violation of any local ordinance or involved in any lawsuits.  

What Must The Seller Disclose If The Property Was Occupied By Someone Other Than The Seller In The Last 12 Months?

I rented out the house or inherited it, so I didn’t live there for more than 12 months. Do I need to complete the disclosure form?  

Even if you are selling the property “as-is” because you inherited the property or rented it out to tenants and didn’t personally live there in the last 12 months, you must nonetheless disclose any material defects to the best of your ability. Even if you are aware of no material defects, selling the property “as-is” implies that there could very likely be material defects under all the old wallpaper, etc. So, even if you check the boxes indicating that you have no awareness of material defects, it is necessary to fully and accurately complete the Disclosure Report to protect yourself from future liability.  

A buyer must be informed of any known defects to make an informed decision about whether to purchase the property and what offer to submit based on the information provided by the seller. If known material defects are non-disclosed by the seller, the seller may be liable for such defects, even when the property was sold “as-is.” Otherwise, the seller has an unfair advantage in negotiating the sale by knowing there are material defects and misleading the buyer by not disclosing the material defects.  Read our other article The Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home in Illinois for another great overview of Illinois real estate law.  

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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