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How Do I Handle Home Defects Discovered After the Sale?

Our Annapolis Real Estate Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Will Help You Protect Your Investment

In Maryland, the law mandates that sellers disclose certain real estate information about the property’s condition. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if a home is sold “as-is,” the seller might not be required to disclose all defects. However, this does not give sellers complete freedom to conceal known issues. If a seller knowingly hides defects, they could be liable for fraud.

Let us illustrate this with a fictional scenario. Suppose you bought an “as-is” property in Annapolis. A few weeks after moving in, you discover a severe termite infestation. If it can be proven that the seller was aware of this issue and did not disclose it, they may be held accountable for the cost of rectification.

Types of Defects: Patent and Latent

Home defects fall into two categories: patent and latent. Patent defects are obvious issues that a buyer can easily spot during a pre-purchase inspection. These include cracked walls, broken windows, or faulty doors.

On the other hand, latent defects are hidden problems not readily apparent during a casual inspection. These could range from plumbing issues to electrical faults or, in our example, a termite infestation. If a seller fails to disclose known latent defects, they could be legally responsible for remedying the situation post-sale.

Dealing With Discovered Defects

What should you do if you uncover defects after the sale? Your course of action largely depends on the defect’s nature and the sale’s conditions. Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Document the issue: Take clear photographs of the defect and gather all related documents. This evidence will be crucial if legal action becomes necessary.
  • Get a professional opinion: Hire a professional inspector to assess the defect. Their expert opinion could strengthen your case.
  • Contact the seller: Contact the seller or their real estate agent. They might be willing to resolve the issue amicably, especially if it can be proven that they were aware of the defect.
  • Seek legal advice: If the seller refuses to cooperate or if you suspect fraud, consult a lawyer. A seasoned real estate attorney will advise you on the best course of action based on Maryland law and the specifics of your case.

Our Annapolis Real Estate Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Will Help You Protect Your Investment

If you are faced with undisclosed home defects, consider contacting our firm. Our experienced Annapolis real estate lawyers are well-versed in Maryland property law. We are committed to ensuring that your dream home does not become a source of endless headaches. Let us help you navigate this challenging situation. Speak with Oliveri & Larsen today. Contact us online or call us at 410-295-3000 to schedule your consultation. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients in Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland.

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