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What you should know about real estate disclosures

Because buying property in Santa Rosa is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, you should learn about what your responsibilities are as a buyer. Most real estate transactions require sellers to inform buyers about defects and issues that can impact the property’s value and your comfort. 

Keep in mind that it is to the seller’s advantage to portray the home in the best light. The seller may make repairs, paint the walls and perform a variety of tasks to make the home as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Besides improving the property’s appeal, the seller must also provide full disclosure about the property. Some property owners do not abide the law and may try to deceive buyers so they can sell their homes. To keep yourself from falling prey to their tactics, consider the following suggestions.

Get an inspection 

No matter how eager you may be about buying a property, you should get a professional inspection. Do not rely on your observations on your walkthrough to provide you with enough information to make an informed purchasing decision. Some defects, such as mold and mildew on the walls, can be covered up with paint. A certified house inspection can shed light on issues the seller is trying to hide. It can also bring to light issues that the owner may not have been aware of. 

Problems that sellers must disclose include: 

  •        Liens
  •        Pests
  •        Roofing issues
  •        Property-line disputes
  •        Defects in the property’s major systems 

Not all defects in real estate are deal breakers. Depending on the discovered issues, you may consider using them to negotiate a lower price. Before you do so, consider the cost and time the repairs will require. 

Protection options 

If you do buy a property that has issues the seller did not disclose, you may have legal recourse options such as getting the former owner to make the repairs or suing for failure to disclose in a real estate transaction. The strength of your claim rests on if you can prove the seller intentionally sought to mislead you to close the deal. 

No one wants to purchase property a seller purposely misrepresents. However, if you find yourself with a deal that appears to have gone bad after you have settled into your new home, you may want to consult with an attorney for guidance.

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