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Proving knowledge of latent defects in a newly purchased home

Florida real estate is probably one of the most substantial investments you’ll ever make. It is your responsibility to conduct inspections and make inquiries before finalizing the purchase and signing on the dotted line. Adler Wellikoff, PLLC often represents clients who discover defects in their new home, despite adequate due diligence.

According to The National Law Review, buyers cannot identify latent defects by visual inspection. These defects can make the house unfit for living and can be too dangerous to occupy. Sellers must make extensive disclosures, which enables buyer awareness regarding the potential issues of the property.

If you suspect the seller of intentionally withholding knowledge of defects, you may have grounds for a claim. To do so, you must prove several factors about the seller:

  • That they or a representative made a material representation
  • The buyer’s representation was recklessly made or purposefully false
  • They acted in a way that induced the property sale

The Seller Disclosure Form helps buyers become aware of potential issues but does not guarantee elements outside the seller’s purview. However, the disclosure is not a warranty, nor does it assume that the seller has more expertise that the buyer in areas related to construction, engineering and architectural design.

Real estate agents and brokers have a duty to inform buyers and sellers of known defects that affect the property value. It is crucial to determine what the seller knew and when to prove liable. Sellers may be practicing fraud on potential buyers if he or she asserts that something is true without knowing the facts. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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