What if the seller does not fully disclose problems in the seller's disclosure?

Asked by Scott_home, Austin, TX Wed Oct 21, 2009

I am going to make an offer on a house but the seller does not fully disclose the problems in the seller's disclosure. There are some obvious issues missing in that form. Of course, I will send a home inspector to inspect the house. What kind of protection do I have as a home buyer in this situation?

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Dec 1, 2009
Debbie's correct - if you want protection, consult with an attorney to determine what recourse you might have and how you would go about getting satisfaction.

The grown-up real-world practice is to take the Seller's disclosure, accept it for what it is, have the property inspected, and move on. Certainly, if the first time the rains come 'round, the basement floods, you might suspect that the Seller knew the foundation was a calender.

But if the issues are obvious to you, then you know about them, so ...
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TCP Real Est…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Dec 1, 2009
I completely agree with Sandy on this question. If the seller's disclosure is incomplete or you feel is inaccurate, ask your agent to contact the seller's representative and let them know. You can request a new complete seller's disclosure. I've had buyers in the same scenerio ask me to do just that.

However, the best advice any agent can give you is to make sure you have a home inspection by a licensed inspector. There may be issues with the house that even the seller is unaware of.

Good luck!
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Victoria Pan…, Agent, Miami, FL
Wed Nov 18, 2009
The inspectors in the Sate of Texas has to have a license, so get an inspector and find out what is it wrong with the house, usually the sellers also offer a home warranty, which cover the house for a year. Did you ask for that home warranty when you presented your offer??? As Realtors we cannot give you any legal advise, get an attorney.
Any more help???
Victoria Pando - 512-696-3015 -- vickypando@gmail.com.
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Oct 24, 2009
Scot..if there is missing information from the sellers discllsure, why not just ask your agent to have the missing information filled in? You can also make up a list of any additional questions you want answered. Between the disclosure, and your home inspection, I am sure you will have all your questions answered.

Has the seller done anything to make you so suspicious?
If you are concerned about legal protection, why not speak to a real estate attorney to allay any fears you might have.

Best wishes
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
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Scott_home, , Austin, TX
Fri Oct 23, 2009
For sure, I will hire a qualified house inspector before closing. If a seller knowingly withhelds information from the seller's disclosure, what kind of legal rights do I have as a buyer?
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Tim Thornton, , Austin, TX
Fri Oct 23, 2009
Realtors in Texas are NOT ALLOWED to give legal advise. So, this should not be viewed as legal advise or coaching.

The Seller's Disclosure should tell you everything that the seller knows about the house. What is in it. What they have done to it. What is wrong with it. If they don't really know about details of the house, they will not likely tell you about them.

In the end, you are wise to have your home inspected. Here is a link to some Real Estate Secrets and reasons to have your home inspected: http://bit.ly/CRIDu
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Mike Hart, Other Pro, Albuquerque, NM
Fri Oct 23, 2009
The home inspection is your best way to get accurate information about the condition of the house. The seller may not be aware of things, or may even be trying to hide things by leaving them out of the disclosure.
Make sure that your inspector is qualified and working for you, the home buyer. Texas has licensing which helps to make sure that inspectors are qualified, but it does not do much about the conflicts of interests and honesty of the inspectors. Visit these websites for more information about choosing inspectors and to find an independent inspector in your area:
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Sandy Nelson, Agent, Olympia, WA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
Your purchase and sale contract should spell out what remedies are open to you in regard to the seller's disclosures. I would not accept an incomplete disclosure. I don't know what disclosures are in use in Texas, but the ones we use allow for three different answers: "Yes", "No", or "Don't Know".
If the seller doesn't know the answer he should check that box. It would be a good idea to let the home inspector see the seller's disclosures, so he/she can pay particular attention to the items that are declared as having had issues, or are checked with "Don't Know".
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