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Hiding these problems could cause legal issues for home sellers

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2016 | Residential Real Estate

Delaware homeowners naturally want their properties to look their best when listing them for sale. Failing to disclose certain issues, however, could cause a buyer to initiate legal action to correct a problem that should have been revealed prior to the sale.

Nationwide, every home sale requires information about lead paint. Homes built before 1978 must have lead paint disclosures signed by both parties involved in the sale. Drainage problems represent another issue. If a basement floods or water stands in a yard after heavy rains, then potential buyers need to know, even if the seller took steps to improve drainage and thinks the problem is fixed.

A category known as emotional defects could upset buyers after a purchase. If a murder, suicide or death occurred in a home, especially in recent years, then sellers should let people know, and some states mandate this type of disclosure. This issue leads to the need to also mention hauntings. Buyers will want to know about paranormal activity associated with a property. Sellers should also be honest about the tangible problem of pests like mice or bedbugs and any actions taken to eliminate infestation.

A person preparing to sell or buy residential real estate or who has experienced a problem after a purchase could seek legal help. An attorney could review the disclosures and purchase agreement to see if legally necessary issues were addressed and who bears responsibility. To assert a buyer’s claim, an attorney could prepare litigation that seeks compensation for problems that resulted from the seller’s actions.