Home Buying in 36203>Question Details

Concerned, Home Buyer in Oxford, AL

Are there any disclosure laws for Alabama such as leaking roof, septic/city sewage, septic problems,?

Asked by Concerned, Oxford, AL Mon Apr 6, 2009

termites, non working fireplace.....etc.

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6
Concerned: Let me first say that anything an agent sees with their naked eye, they are required to disclose to the prospective buyer(s) they are showing the home. These are called latent defects. If they are not visible to the agent or to the buyer, the only way to know what does exist, if anything, is with inspections. All kinds are available: septic inspections (usually a buyer expense of $250), home inspections (usually a buyer expense of $250-350), mold inspections (these can be free if they are quoting repairs), well inspections (can be a buyer/seller paid expense, vary in price depending on what you are wanting to have tested), and so on. There are other inspections also, like foundation inspections. Of course, these fees can be negotiated as to whom pays for the service, but I would want to hire the individuals myself, just in case there is any chance the sellers could hire a friend to say what they want (not a good idea for fear of lawsuits but does happen). As the other responses have said, Alabama is a caveat emptor state, which means the buyer does not have to offer any disclosure. Now, if the seller has mentioned it to the agent and the agent is asked directly, that agent is required by ethics to disclose the information they are aware of, if not, there could be a big lawsuit there also. Hope I have helped in some small way. Find you a good, ethical, educated agent to work with during this process. Do your research and interview agents. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
As mentioned by the others, buyers of Alabama real estate are NOT sufficiently protected by a sound seller disclosure law. This is unfortunate and leads some sellers to "forget" about certain defects. The result is that when you close on a property, it is YOURS, along with any extra benefits you may discover, or any defects that become apparent later. You cannot expect to go back on the seller, or the real estate agent, to collect for a repair of any kind, although the attempt is often made.

The good news is that many real estate brokers now include a deatiled "seller's disclosure form" with the offer to purchase, with a contract stipulation that it must be completed by the seller. The disclosure does ask the kind of questions that you have concerns about.

However, it would be up to you, as the buyer, to insist that the seller disclosure is answered completely, and subject to your acceptance, as well as making the purchase contract subject to your acceptance of a thourough inspection. Answering the seller disclosure untruthfully is fraud, for which there are laws that protect you. You should walk away from any deal where the seller will not complete the disclosure, unless you are satisfied with the "as-is" condition of the property.

Frequently when problems are identified by a disclosure or inspection, repairs can be arranged for by the seller, so the defects are corrected to your satisfaction. This allows the sale to proceed.

You should certainly discuss your concerns with the agent you are working with before you make an offer to purchase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 17, 2010
buyer beware or caveat emptor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 8, 2010
BUYER BEWARE! Here in Alabama, buyer beware means just that.... buyer beware.
Alabama is one of a handful of states that still operates under "caveat emptor" which means buyer beware.

Get a home inspection! This is great advice for both buyers and sellers.
Sellers; you can get a home inspection done before you place your home on the market and address what needs to be fixed. As a seller, your agent can share this with prospective buyers to show what was found and what was fixed.
Buyers, you get a home inspection too! Even if the sellers have had a preinspection. I would recommend getting another one. This just keeps the companies honest and you never know what could have been missed on accident during the first inspection. Also, you can make the contract contingent upon the home inspection. By doing this you have an escape clause in case the inspection comes back a little shady.
You can reach David Shell at Sun Capital, Inc or email at MyLender@live.com 205-473-9413
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
"CAVENT EMPTOR" Let the buyer beware- However in a case where the property presents a heath hazard the seller must inform the buyer. I would recommend that everyone buying a home have a home inspection done. If you can't afford that then at least have a family member with some knowledge of construction look it over. It's funny to me that when someone buys’s a used car they look under hood, crawl under to check for links, and the preverbal kicking of the tires. So look the property over check in the attic check under the property and if you’re scared of spiders make your agent go first. I have done it and it's rather a bonding moment I should say between agent and client. Just let me know so I can throw on some old cloths.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
HOME BUYER,

ALABAMA IS A BUYER BEWARE STATE !!! THAT IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO HIRE A CERTIFIED HOME INSPECTOR TO INSPECT ANY PROPERTY BEFORE YOU CLOSE ON THE PROPERTY.
Web Reference: http://janking.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
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