Are you currently working with a Realtor? They really should be able to help you with this. If your not please click on my contact info, I would love to help you in your search.
I agree with most of the answers below. In my opinion, you should get confirmation from your attorney that your contract has a home inspection contingency clause in it that would allow you to void the contract and walk away if anything major comes up during the inspection.
I am not an attorney and can't give you legal advice so best to review your questions and concerns with an attorney.
There are some good answers below and they are all (except the agent from CA) consistent with the regulations in New Jersey I have been told, however, that flooding is required to be disclosed by the seller however I didn't hear that from an attorney!
Again, check with your attorney re your contract. It usually allows for an inspection period and any major defects discovered can usually be cause for you to void the contract. Make sure this is the case for you, again by asking your attorney.
After closing it would get a lot trickier to remediate a problem, so again your attorney's advice is required.
Regarding disclosure, if there are any obvious and/or known issues their is a duty by the Realtor to ensure that all parties are informed of them. However, if it is an unknown latent defect (a defect that is reasonably not visible upon inspection) a Seller and/or Realtor cannot disclose what is unknown.
Actually, the standard NJAR (NJ Association of Realtors) Contract of Sale is an "AS-IS" contract, however, you still have a right to an inspection to determine basically "How Much" "AS-IS" you are willing to accept.
I always recommend to ask the question of requesting something to be repaired rather than not as you do not know if you do not ask! However, all this should be done prior to the closing.
As I am not an attorney, I cannot offer you legal advice, however, any attorney who will represent you is their to protect your rights and you should take full advantage of it.
I hope this helps.
If you are in need of additional guidance I would be happy to help you in your search. Just give me a call at 973.868.4034 or send me an e-mail at email@example.com to get started.
Emil Veltre, RPh, MS, CDPE
The buyer has the right to conduct a home inspection, and any issues found can be repaired by the seller or negotiated between both parties, or the buyer may cancel the contract. The condition of the home does not survive closing so they would have to come up during the inspection.
Please seek the advice of a real estate attorney, as we are not attorney's and can not give you legal advice. If you need a recommendation I am happy to offer you some names.
Hope that helps!
The Realtor will Disclose things which have become obvious to them while visiting the property:
The Realtor is discouraged from delving too deeply; they haven't lived there and they are not considered "experts" at Inspections.