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What rights do buyers have when they discover issues with a home?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

In many ways, people have a relationship with the place where they live. They might personalize their homes, giving them names or referring to them with human pronouns. They may fall in love at first sight during a tour and then experience a honeymoon phase throughout the transaction in which the home seems absolutely perfect. However, as in any relationship, those rosy-colored glasses eventually come off, sometimes due to a serious issue arising.

Homeowners in Texas sometimes discover after taking possession of a property that the central air conditioning unit for their more than 3,000-square-foot home isn’t in working order and requires replacement rather than repair. They may find issues with their electrical systems or plumbing that will take thousands of dollars to address or foundation issues that will require huge investments to correct.

Although people frequently use the phrase “buyer beware” to warn people about how unscrupulous others can be when selling major assets, people often rush into real estate transactions eagerly only to end up disappointed when they understand the totality of the situation. Does someone who discovers hidden defects after buying a new home have any rights in Texas?

Sellers have an obligation to disclose property issues

What a buyer will offer for a property strongly relates to their perception of the property’s condition. The more issues that they will need to repair and the more expensive those projects will be, the less they will want to pay for the property initially. Those selling real estate must fully disclose any issues that they know about at the property, even hard to uncover, latent defects.

Providing a written disclosure is a requirement for any real estate transaction, although some sellers try to avoid this responsibility. They list the property in as-is condition or indicate that the condition of certain systems in the home is unknown. In reality, they are fully aware that there are expensive repairs needed, and they hope to simply pass those expenses on to the new buyer.

Provided that the new owner can show that the seller hid those defects, it may be possible to pursue a claim against the former owner. They may have to cover the cost of repairs or at least part of those expenses. Other times, if a real estate agent was involved in hiding the truth about the property, there could also be professional insurance coverage that could apply to those expenses.

Overall, property owners should not have to worry about hidden defects popping up shortly after taking possession of their new homes. Learning more about Texas’s real estate transaction laws may help those wondering if they can file a lawsuit after a disappointing purchase.