The law obligates sellers of real estate to disclose any fact materially affecting the value and desirability of the property. This includes, but is not limited to, facts concerning the physical condition of the property, any dangerous conditions, and any lawsuits affecting the property. A seller's failure to disclose these material facts will generally cause the seller to be liable to the buyer for the damages caused by the nondisclosure.
In many cases, real estate professionals representing the seller are held liable to the same extent of the seller. These real estate professionals have an affirmative duty to inspect the property, and to disclose all facts affecting the party's value or desirability. A seller's failure to disclose a material defect could cause a buyer to be stuck with an asset that is worth considerably less than its purchase price, and the seller an expensive and time-consuming problem. Not surprisingly, these situations often lead to disputes between the buyer and seller.
Determining what is a "material fact," and must be disclosed is often difficult to determine, and can change depending on the individual parties and facts. Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC has advised numerous sellers of property, and real estate professionals to ensure that they understand and comply with their disclosure obligations. Our goal is to direct sellers and their agents on the correct path from the outset, in order to avoid costly and needless litigation. In many cases, this litigation could have been avoided if there had been sufficient diligence at the disclosure stage of the transaction.
We have also aggressively advocated for buyers of property in nondisclosure cases, where they have been misled or not received accurate disclosures. Hiring the right professionals, and investigating the right avenues, can be the difference between success and failure.
You should seek the advice of an attorney if you suspect the seller, or the seller's agent has failed to disclose all material facts regarding your property. Often, the attorneys at Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC meet with clients after a dispute has arisen: when the buyer is suing a seller accused of failing to disclose defects. We also welcome the opportunity to meet with sellers before a property is sold, which can often prevent disputes before they happen.
In either situation, Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC has vigorously represented buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals in these disputes, and advised them about their obligations. Our attorneys' extensive experience in this area of the law allows us to represent these clients effectively, and in a cost-efficient manner.
Contact Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC at 415-956-8100.