Selling or buying a home means you may find defects and you may need to talk about them. However, this can be a hard conversation to have and sometimes, sellers don't want to admit the problem. Other times, the problem may be big, but they may think it's small. Here's a look at what to expect when there is a defect needing disclosed.
Is it a Deal Breaker?
As a buyer, if the defect you've discovered is a deal breaker, it's necessary to talk about it immediately. There is a small chance the seller doesn't know about it and should be informed. It's also necessary to talk about it immediately so that you can move on with your search.
What Type of Defect is it?
The type of defect you're dealing with will also make a difference in whether you bring it up now or later. Some of the more common defects may not even be that big of a deal for you. However, small defects can help you negotiate a better price, especially if the seller didn't tell you about them.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Edmonton is known for water problems in basements and the climate isn't very forgiving. The ground freezes every year and this can make it very easy for excess water to become a problem in the spring.
Legal Requirements For Seller Disclosures
Buyers have a right to know the condition of the house they're purchasing. This information passes from the seller to the buyer in a form called the Property Condition Statement.
Sellers are required to disclose known problems that could render the home unsafe or unfit for habitation. These problems generally involve serious defects like foundation problems, water intrusion, mould, structural defects, wood rot and other problems.
The seller is also obligated to answer the questions of the buyer truthfully. For example, if the buyer asks whether an appliance or a feature of the home is functional, the seller must disclose the truth about its condition.
Failure to disclose information about the house could draw out the sale process. Depending on how the information comes to light, the buyer may back out of the purchase before the purchase becomes final. Failure to disclose information about the house could also leave the seller liable for problems experienced by the buyer after they move in to the property. Whether you're a buyer or seller, if you have questions about the disclosures, talk to your real estate professional.
From the Seller's Perspective
If you're the buyer and you discover a defect the seller should have known about or did know about, but didn't tell you, it's a problem. You want to deal with a seller that is transparent and if you're the seller, you should be transparent.
Buyers don't want surprises and sellers need to be honest to sell their home properly. Make sure when dealing with a home defect, you consider the other person in the deal and talk about it when necessary.