What happens when a house is sold "as is"?
The inspector's responsibility is to make his client as informed as possible about the condition--good and bad-- of the property he is buying. This is true not only in the context of a buying decision but also to assist you in prioritizing repairs, maintenance and in planning for improvements. The inspection is primarily an educational tool--far more than merely a blunt instrument to demand concessions f rom sellers!
Specific terms can vary from transaction to transaction. Banks offering a foreclosure for sale are frequently not held to the same--or any--standards of condition and there are other exceptions. In most transactions however--including "as is" sales-- everything is open to discussion. This means that both parties have agreed that those components will transfer in good working order and typically any repairs to bring those items up to such condition are paid for by the seller. Heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical items are frequently referred to as "walk-through" items because these categories should be fully functional at your final walk-through before settlement. In an "as is" sale, any concerns that fall outside of those five categories will normally be the responsibility of the purchaser so a detailed home inspection is even more important to help avoid surprises.