What You Can Do If Your New Home Has A Major Defect
After buying a home, you expect the house to be in the condition the seller said it was in. In fact, sellers are responsible for disclosing any problems a house has when they sell, but this doesn't always happen. If you end up with a problem in your new house that will cost you thousands of dollars to fix, you may want to hire a real estate lawyer for help. Here are two things the lawyer will do for if you have a home with defects.
Determine who is responsible
The first thing a real estate lawyer will do is to look at the contract of the sale. If the contract states that the seller is offering a warranty, the seller will have to pay for the repairs. Typically, home contracts do not have warranties, but there are other things the lawyer will look at, including:
- State legalities – Every state has laws regarding what issues homeowners must disclose when selling their homes, and your lawyer will determine if your issue falls into the state guidelines.
- Prior knowledge of the seller – There are times when problems unexpectedly occur, but there are other times when people try to cover them up. Your lawyer must investigate this to find out if the seller knew and lied about it, or if this problem just coincidentally happened shortly after you purchased the house.
In either of these cases, the seller might be liable for the expenses relating to the problem. Another thing the lawyer could look into is the home inspection completed before the sale. If you had a home inspection, did the inspector miss this problem? If the inspector missed the issue, you might have a case against the home inspection company.
Decide what action to take
There are several ways these problems can be fixed, but the action your lawyer suggests will depend on the severity of the problem and who is at fault for the problem. Here are some of the options your lawyer might suggest:
- Send a demand letter – This is a letter that could be sent to the seller of the house or the inspection company. It will give the person a certain amount of time to work out arrangements for fixing the problem.
- Take the person to small claims court – Your lawyer might suggest taking the responsible party to small claims court. This is less expensive than having your lawyer take the party to court, but this option can only be used if the amount is under a certain amount. Every state has a limit for small claims cases, and this limit can range from $2,500 to $10,000.
It may be hard for you to find a remedy for this problem alone, but you do not have to solve it by yourself. Instead, hire a real estate lawyer like Bangs McCullen Butler Foye & Simmons LLP for advice, suggestions, and help.