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Your new home has issues the seller did not disclose: Now what?

Purchasing a home is exciting. Although it comes with a load of new responsibilities, that will not diminish your pride in owning a home.

Now that you have moved in, however, you notice some things seem off. Issues keep cropping up, including mold in the attic. You know mold did not grow there overnight, so it must have existed in that space before you purchased the house. When you find issues that existed before your ownership but were not disclosed, you may want to pursue legal action.

Is the seller at fault?

Your real estate contract included a spot for the seller to list all the problems with the house they knew existed. The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act even provides a list that sellers use to check boxes on some of the most common property defects. The seller should also explain any outstanding problems in detail. Some of them may have gone unnoticed legitimately, but not others.

Is the real estate broker to blame?

A realtor has a multitude of responsibilities during residential acquisition. If the seller's broker failed to acknowledge potential issues and bring them up, then the broker may also wind up in hot water.

Is your home inspection company in the wrong?

You had every option to have your own site inspection prior to going through with the purchase of the house. It is likely you did this as the cost is far less than the risks associated with accepting a house in "as-is" condition. Why did your home inspector not find some or all these issues before the purchase?

How do you prove who is at fault?

One thing is for sure: Your home had these problems before you signed on the dotted line. One key thing you need to hunt for is evidence that any or all three parties above knew or should have known the defects existed. Take pictures, and document everything.

You love your home, but you may not get to enjoy it right now. The mounting costs of fixing what is wrong may set you back time and money. Filing a lawsuit may provide you with the remedy you need.

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