Purchasing a home is often a dream come true, but for some new homeowners, it turns into a nightmare. While there are assurances in the home-buying process, they do not guarantee you will not find issues with the home after the purchase.
A seller’s disclosure is a document in which the seller should disclose all known defects with the home. However, you should never rely on this document alone when purchasing a home. When a seller knows of underlying conditions but does not disclose them before closing, you may take action. Discover what sellers legally need to disclose, and what remedies you have if they do not.
Texas property disclosure laws
Under Texas state statutes, there are certain events that a seller does not need to disclose. If someone died in the home of suicide, natural causes or an accident that did not concern the house, a seller does not need to disclose it. The same goes for any occupant who had HIV.
However, there are plenty of things that a seller should include in the disclosure, including:
- Any fire on the property
- Roof or foundation issues or repairs
- Flood or water damage
- Termites currently or in the past and the repairs
Repercussions if the seller was not forthcoming
As issues crop up, you may become suspicious that the seller was not truthful. Fortunately, you are not stuck with a preexisting and undisclosed problem.
A seller’s disclosure document stays in effect after closing. If you prove that the seller knew or should have known about the issues in the home and did not disclose them, he or she may have a duty to remedy. In some instances, you may have to file a lawsuit to hold the seller responsible and recoup your costs.
Before sitting down at closing, consider having a home inspection done on the property. However, even with this extra step, the home may have serious issues. Hang on to your closing documents in case you need to call a seller into question later.