The last thing a seller wants is a deal to fall through or, worse yet, to have a lawsuit brought by an unhappy buyer. A common issue that a New Jersey real estate lawyer faces is failure to disclose.
A seller of real estate, especially residential property, has a legal obligation to tell the buyer of any defects in the property that the seller knows about that the buyer could not discover with a routine inspection. Such a latent or concealed defect must be material to the real estate transaction. A roof that leaks in the rain, a buried oil tank or unsafe radon levels in the house are some examples.
In addition to disclosing known latent defects, a New Jersey real estate lawyer emphasizes the importance of not making any misleading statements in regard to the condition of the property. If a buyer relies on a seller’s false statement and the buyer suffers harm as a result, a lawsuit may follow.
The Real Estate Sales Contract
Most contracts used for selling residential property in New Jersey contain a form for disclosures and representations. Among the types of information addressed are:
• There have been no improvements made to the property that have not been properly permitted
• The property as is used is not in violation of any zoning regulations or restrictionsContracts of sales are lengthy, complex and contain language the average person is likely unfamiliar with. It is wise to have a New Jersey real estate attorney review all that is written, especially in the representations and disclosure sections.
Selling “As Is”
For a variety of reasons, a seller may choose not implement repairs to a property prior to selling. However, selling as is does not insulate a seller from liability for fraudulent representations or concealment of defects.
Contact a New Jersey Real Estate Attorney for Legal Advice
Real estate purchases are typically the largest transaction the average person undertakes. Make certain it gets done right. Call Snellings Law LLC, at 973.265.6100.