When you want to buy a home the best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent. EBAs only work with homebuyers and there is never a conflict of interest that will jeopardize your negotiating position. Visit http://www.naeba.org for a referral to an Exclusive Buyer's Agent in your area.
I've written a best selling book called Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You. It'll teach you how to buy a home and get a loan without getting ripped off. Follow the link below.
Best of luck!
Regarding non-disclosure by the seller, this is a legal questions. Speak with your broker or an attorney about this. You do have rights under the law.
Shel-lee Davis BRE #01817412
Real Estate Consultant
International Real Estate Specialist - IRESÂ®
Senior Real Estate Specialist - SRESÂ®
Certified Home Seller Advisor - CHSAÂ®
Certified Home Buyer Advisor - CHBAÂ®
Member - National Association of Certified Expert Advisors - NAEA
Certified Distressed Property Expert - CDPEÂ®
RE/MAX Estate Properties
It's getting popular to actually videotape your home inspection now, as well as having a report WITH PHOTOS from your inspector. *HINT...ASK your inspector if he takes PHOTOS!!!! If he doesn't then PASS!!! Usually, the owners are NOT home during the inspection to give you and your inspector peace to walk thru the home....you can REQUEST that they BE THERE....if you wish..to help with any questions you may have. This way, you, the buyer agent, your inspector, the owners and their agent can be present. A great idea to ASK the owners POINT BLANK(with camera rolling, or iphone, etc) if there were any ins. claims, deaths, etc...
If you find out AFTER you close escrow, and have signed all the given disclosures about the home from the owners, and this was not found out or evident during your inspection. Depending on the damage, or if something that was NOT DISCLOSED is hampering the livability of the home ...you DO have avenues you can pursue. Contacting the owner's agent and owners and trying to handle things peacefully is the best way. However, if this can't resolve things. Then letting the opposing party know "in writing" that you WILL pursue the matter..might resolve things. If not, then hire an aggressive real estate attorney. I have serveral who are awesome here in LA County.
Please be aware, if the home you are buying is a "standard sale" from private owners...or if it is a SHORT SALE or REO...things will be viewed differently. Normally, short sales and REO's are SOLD in "as is" condition and it's up to you to do your DUE DILIGENCE and buyer beware. Sueing owners of a short sale who are "upside down" and have no money, may be a waste of time...and if you buy a bank owned or also known as an REO home, the banks protect themselves and will NOT pay anything, since they have forms they make u sign stating that THEY have NEVER LIVED THERE...so oftentimes the BANK is not aware of former problems with the home. If however, they were aware of things and covered them up, that is a different story. As with anything...whether buying property or cars, etc.... be proactive.... use professionals to inspect and use your intuition, and be diligent all around.
Hope this helps... 310-429-4170 firstname.lastname@example.org