When a home seller conceals defects
April, May and June through the end summer is real estate season in Chicagoland. People are shopping for homes and hoping to close and move as the kids are getting out of school and before it gets too hot to pack, haul and get moved in.
Much to the chagrin and shock for some Illinois home buyers, there are defects and problems at the new house that were concealed and not disclosed in the inspection and buying process. Lies, deceit and covering up can be enough to scare people from moving in the first place. The buying process can be so detailed that one would think this could never happen to them. When a home seller conceals defects, there is a process and options to remedy the situation, possibly out of court, and get the buyer back to wanting to place their new welcome mat with pride.
Who is liable for home defects that were not disclosed?
If surveyed after discovering seller concealed-defects, the first to receive a phone call of grave concern would probably be your real estate agent. “What are you going to do about this?” Along the line of liability, however there may be multiple culprits from whom some answers may be sought, including without limitation:
- The Seller;
- The Listing Broker;
- Your Own Purchasing Broker;
- Your Home Inspector.
Liability can be assigned for failing to disclose a defect, transferring title to property not in the same condition as reported under a warranty or other assurances provided in the purchase contract. This may apply to the seller and either the selling or buying broker. Additionally, the inspector may be liable and at fault for failing to list a defect in the inspection report they provided before the closing.
Options to remedy concealed defect problems before filing a lawsuit
Here at Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago, we see so many complex transactions not only in real estate but also in our healthcare regulation practice areas. We, like you, understand that even the best professionals are human and make mistakes.
While we may assume a concealed defect was intentional, the truth may be that a defect was unknown or overlooked, which may or may not be a sign of negligence. Writing an effective letter setting out the facts as you perceive them and giving others an opportunity to cure the defect problems can be easy or proceed to litigation. In some instances, a lawsuit might have to be filed for an insurance company to pay a claim for an error or omission of any professional involved in the transaction.
Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.