The rights of a buyer when a seller doesn’t disclose defects

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2023 | Real Estate

Real estate transactions can be very stressful experiences. People complete a purchase that represents multiple years of their salary. Oftentimes, the property they purchase will be where they will live for many years. For those selling real estate, maximizing their returns on the transaction will often be crucial to their ability to purchase a new property or to fund their retirement.

Buyers typically need to present their best and most competitive offer if they want a seller to seriously consider them. Sellers will have to comply with disclosure requirements by providing honest information about the condition of a property so that buyers can make informed offers.

Unfortunately, some people take possession of a home, only to realize that it has some significant defects that the seller did not include on disclosure statements. What happens when a seller does not honestly inform a buyer about the condition of a property?

Disclosure issues can lead to lawsuits

When a buyer has every reason to believe that a seller would have known about an issue with the property, they may be able to take legal action to demand compensation. Pursuing such disclosure-based claims in civil court will typically require a thorough review of the paperwork for the real estate transaction, followed by someone gathering documentation that affirms their claims about the cost to address the issue or the impact the property’s true condition will have on its fair market value.

In some cases, the courts might order the seller to pay for repairs. Other times, they might compensate the buyer for the difference in property value. There are even scenarios in which someone’s real estate agent and their professional insurance will compensate a buyer for such oversights.

Buyers should not have to accept material misrepresentation

It is possible for irresponsible homeowners to potentially overlook some minor issues with a property despite living there. However, when homeowners intentionally hide known issues with the property or even try to cover them up or before selling the home, their actions create an unfair situation for the buyer and also violate laws about seller disclosure requirements.

Buyers who are intending to pursue a failure to disclose claim often need support getting required documentation. Learning more about seller disclosure law violations can help those who are concerned about the consequences of a recent transaction.