Is a seller responsible to disclose defects found in a previous home inspection to a new buyer?
Sunday, September 19, 2021
The level of seller disclosure necessary for defects found in a previous inspection depends on the state where the home is located. Florida, for example, only makes sellers responsible for disclosing defects that they have actual knowledge of at the time of sale. So, if a seller did not read the report or receive notification of any defects in another way that is verifiable, they are not responsible to pass the information on to the buyer. This can be hard to prove, and saying “they should have known” will not work.
Other states have more stringent standards. Texas mandates sellers to disclose any material defects found in the home inspection report after receiving it, whether they open and read it or not.
Lack of disclosure is the number one reason for a lawsuit against the seller after a real estate transaction. But it is also a complicated issue and, if you have a problem with lack of disclosure, consulting an attorney experienced in real estate law in your state is the best strategy.
To learn more, we suggest reading our articles Do I have to bring my house up to code to sell it? and The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? and How do I find out what was on a previous home inspection report? and Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement? and How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?
To find more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:
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