A Real Estate Law Firm In Santa Barbara, CA Can Help When a Home Seller Fails to Disclose Defects May16

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A Real Estate Law Firm In Santa Barbara, CA Can Help When a Home Seller Fails to Disclose Defects

When one sells a home, they are required to disclose problems and material defects. While disclosure laws vary by jurisdiction, sellers are usually obliged to tell buyers about defects that may cause harm or that would influence the purchase decision. However, sellers aren’t required to tell buyers about every problem. Minor flaws such as small interior cracks need not be pointed out, especially if they are obvious.

What Must be Included on a Disclosure Form

Most jurisdictions follow the “caveat emptor” rule, which states that buyers assume the risk involved in purchasing a defective home. However, along with providing information such as price, age and size, the seller must disclose defects such as:

  • Ceiling and roof leaks

  • Flooding in the basement

  • Toxic conditions such as radon, asbestos or mold

  • Whether the home is in a flood plain

  • Faulty wiring

  • Pest infestation

  • Mechanical issues

  • Deaths in the home

In addition to disclosure duties, sellers may not conceal defects. New homes are under an implied fitness warranty, which simply means that they should be sold in a habitable condition. Buyers of homes where defects were not disclosed should click here to learn more and to consult a Real Estate Law Firm in Santa Barbara CA for advice.

Who Must Disclose Defects?

As previously mentioned, the seller’s duties depend on the nature of the flaw. If an agent or broker is representing the homeowner, the professional must disclose defects, and they are held to a higher standard than the average seller.

If a Buyer Isn’t Informed of a Substantial Defect

To protect oneself, the buyer should have the home thoroughly examined and independently appraised before buying. If the home is to be inspected, the buyer should hire a third party who does not work with the real estate agent or the homeowner. Those who have bought a home only to discover a major flaw may be able to hire an attorney to recover damages. The buyer may be able to file a claim against the home seller or against the real estate agent who neglected to make a disclosure. A wronged buyer and their Real Estate Law Firm in Santa Barbara CA may be able to force the other party to pay for remediation or repairs.

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