Is the seller responsible for defects in a property?

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Is the seller responsible for defects in a property?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2020 | real estate disputes

When you buy a property, you want to be sure that it’s free of defects. Unfortunately, that isn’t always easy. Some sellers may purposefully hide known defects, while others may not know that any defects are present. Either way, it creates a major issue when buyers find problems after the sale.

As a buyer, there is one simple thing you can do to protect yourself against buying a property that has a defect, and that is to have a home inspection. When you have an inspection, most standard defects will be discovered. Defects like trouble with the foundation, mold, holes in the roofing, water damage and other issues will usually be found by an experienced inspector.

What is the purpose of a home inspection?

Your home inspection can give you the peace of mind of knowing you’ve done what you can to verify the quality of the home. It will give you a chance to renegotiate, and, in some cases, completely opt-out of the purchase if you aren’t happy with the property’s damage.

You’ll also learn about possible defects that you may want to repair yourself or need to have repaired in the future. Most home inspectors also offer a warranty that will give you some peace of mind as you proceed with your sale.

What happens if a defect is found after the sale goes through?

Even with a home inspection, you can still have some unpleasant surprises. You may not find out your home has a problem until after you’ve moved in.

If the seller could not have known about the hidden defect, then the likelihood is that they will not be held responsible for the repairs. However, if the defect was intentionally hidden or simply was not disclosed when it was obvious, then the seller could still be liable. If the defect should have been obvious to your home inspector, they may also bear some liability for your losses.

If you’re struggling to deal with a defect in your new home, don’t try to handle the issue on your own. An experienced attorney can help you understand all of your options.


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