After finding your dream home, what happens if you find a home defect that you did not know about prior to buying?
Let’s look at what you can do –
1. Look at your inspection reports. Does the defect show up on the inspection report? If so, then you are liable for the repairs.
2. Look at the homes Seller Disclosure report. Does the defect show up on the Disclosure report? If so, then you are liable for the repairs.
3. Did you accept the home in “as is” condition? If so, then you are liable for the repairs.
4. If the defect was a repair that was fixed prior to the closing, simply call the contractor that completed the work and have them come back to re-address the situation. It is important to get the contractors information for any repairs that were done prior to closing.
5. Were you told by the sellers and/or the home inspector of any required routine home maintenance such as overhanging trees, gutters etc? If so, then you are liable for any repairs caused by your deferring of any of the routine home maintenance such as tree trimming.
6. If you were improperly informed of a potential problem, such as “a little” water intrusion in the basement. Then you find out that the basement will completely flood after a hard rain, rendering it “not usable”. You may, in this case, be able to pursue the seller for repairs and damages.
Some contracts will require that all disputes be mediated through arbitration. In any case, you will need to consult with a real estate attorney to help you define who is responsible for what defects and what recourse you have.
Make sure your purchase contract specifically states exactly how disputes will be handled if they cannot be resolved by the parties involved. A good home inspector is worth their weight in gold because they will be able to identify potential problems or attempts at covering up existing problems before you sign on the dotted line.
Our biggest recommendation is Do Not Skip The Home Inspection Process!