Failure to Disclose: Can Purchasers Sue Sellers for Not Disclosing Defects With the Home?
Can a purchaser sue a seller for failure to disclose defects in a home? As a purchaser, you’re entitled to know about every problem with the house, from the leaky roof to termites hiding in the walls. If the seller fails to disclose a defect to you before the property is conveyed, you should call a lawyer. Our law firm handles these issues and gives free consultations.
Real estate disclosure laws
Sellers must disclose information about their property to the purchaser; it’s not enough to just wait for a buyer to ask a question and answer honestly, according to Nevada real estate attorney Charles L. Geisendorf of Henderson, NV. The seller must complete a disclosure form detailing the condition of the property, known defects, and any other aspects of the property which may affect its use or value.
“A seller may be liable to the buyer for the nondisclosure of material facts, negligent misrepresentation of facts, intentional misrepresentation of facts, or suppression or concealment of facts,” Geisendorf explains.
Should you sue a seller for failure to disclose?
A dissatisfied purchaser can contact the seller to determine whether the parties can work out an agreement or settlement of the issues.
In fact, most purchase contracts contain a provision that the purchaser and seller must go to mediation before the filing of a lawsuit, while other purchase contracts will require that disputes between the buyer and seller must be arbitrated, rather than litigated in court.
If you end up suing the seller, you can seek monetary damages for the seller’s failure to disclose information or misrepresentation of the property. The amount you sue for can include damages for three times the costs of repairs plus attorney’s fees.