Buying a house is exciting, but it can also be risky. There is a lot of money on the line, not to mention the experience people will have in their new home for years to come. To make these experiences as positive as possible, buyers should be able to feel confident that they know what they are getting when they purchase a home.
Unfortunately, this can be all but impossible when sellers fail to disclose known defects of the home during the sale. Four especially common defects that sellers must disclose to potential buyers in New Jersey are below.
- Mold or water issues – These are common issues that can cause health problems and compromise the integrity of a structure. As such, sellers must disclose defects related to leaks, mold and other moisture-related issues.
- Underground systems – Septic systems, oil tanks, and other underground systems can be defective, even if they are no longer in use.
- Toxic materials – Lead paint, asbestos and other unsafe materials were once used in home construction regularly. Today, however, they are known to be hazardous. Disclosing this information during a sale is crucial.
- Roofing problems – Roofs that leak, sag or have been poorly installed could be defective and result in major damage to a home and expensive repairs.
These and other defects may be uncovered during an inspection of the home, but this doesn’t always happen. In some cases, defects may not be apparent to the naked eye or during the time of the inspection. Sellers might even conceal a defect just long enough for the sale to finalize.
Under these circumstances, buyers can wind up paying a hefty price for the seller’s withholding.
If the failure to disclose defects was intentional, and if the defects would have affected the sale had the buyer known about them, buyers may want to explore their legal options. Buyers could be in a position to collect financial damages or possibly even rescind the contract.