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What recourses do you have when a seller fails to disclose home defects?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2021 | Property Law

Are you upfront about an item’s defects before trying to pawn it off on someone else? While you might be, not everyone is. Houses aren’t just like any other assets, though. They’re expensive. Any non-disclosures can prove to be quite costly. You may wonder what options are available to you if someone selling you a home fails to disclose its flaws. There are a few remedies that you can pursue in such instances. 

What does your contract say?

Most states require sellers to provide certain disclosures about defects a property may have. Texas is no different in this respect. There are very few instances in which sellers don’t have to make such disclosures, such as when a house is up for foreclosure sale or is being transferred by a deed of trust. 

One of the first places you’ll want to look if it appears that a seller didn’t make necessary disclosures is in the contract’s terms. It should describe under which instances that you can pull out of a deal without liability. 

You have other options available to you should you discover that your contract’s terms don’t allow you to pull out of the deal due to a lack of disclosure of defects. You can raise those concerns with the seller and see if you can reach an amicable agreement about them. Another option available to you if you and your seller are having difficulty seeing eye-to-eye with each other is to pursue mediation. Your contact may even call for this. 

Litigation may be your only option if you two are having trouble reaching an agreement. A judge or jury may release you from your contract or award damages depending on the case’s adjudication. 

How do you handle potentially costly non-disclosures?

Various factors can delay a closing. An inspector’s discovery of undisclosed flaws with a property is one of those. A defect that they discover may even motivate you to want to pull out of your contract

You may find it helpful to first consult with a property litigation attorney before contacting your Dallas seller. Your lawyer will have experience reviewing Texas real estate contracts and know what steps you should take in your case.