What happens when you buy a home only to realize that it has serious defects that you didn't know before the purchase? Of course, you expect somebody to be held responsible for your loss, but who is this person? There are three major options on who you may blame, and they are the:
Real estate laws require sellers to disclose all defects in their respective properties. The disclosure form must be filled and signed before the sale is completed. You still need this form even if you are buying a home on an "as is" basis. "As is" sale doesn't mean that you have to accept hidden faults, it just means that a flawed property is being sold in its defective condition.
Therefore, if the seller does not disclose the relevant flaws, then he or she is breaking the law. Note, however, that these property laws vary by state, and what is illegal in one state may be legal in another. For example, some states have comprehensive lists of property features that the seller is required to describe. In such states, a seller may get away with a flaw if it affects a feature or characteristic of the house that is not on the list.
Your home inspector has a duty to inform you of all the flaws or defects that the inspection may reveal. This is the main objective of the inspection; to reveal defects either so that the seller can fix them, or so that you can use them to negotiate a reduced price.
Therefore, the first thing to do when you notice a defect is read the inspection report. If it isn't mentioned, then you should find out why the inspector did not include it. If the issue ends up in front of a judge, then the court will determine whether the defect is one that any other professional should have unearthed. For example, if the inspector should have known about it, then he or she may also be held responsible for your loss.
In some cases, even the real estate agent who acted as the middleman for the sale may be blamed for the defect. Of course, this is only true if your state's laws require property agents to disclose the relevant defects. Even then, the agent may only be responsible for the defects he or she had knowledge about. This means that his or her responsibility may only stretch as far as what the seller disclosed to him or her.
As you can see, there are a number of things that will help you know who to hold liable for your loss. Chief of this is your state's real estate laws as well as the issue of "who knew what" before the sale. A real estate lawyer like Valentine & Valentine PC can help you to make sense of all these issues.Share
22 July 2015
While I took a few business classes in college, I left early to start my own business. I thought I had the knowledge I needed to become a great business owner and was eager to start my business. Soon, I had a new business that was actually performing pretty well in sales. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken any law courses in college, and I soon realized I made a few mistakes when starting my business that could cause me some legal trouble. Thankfully, a great business lawyer helped me correct my mistakes before I had any legal problems, but I then decided to take those business law courses. I want to help business owners and anyone else who would like to learn more about the law by starting a blog where I will share what I have learned and will continue to learn. I hope I can help you!