Inspecting a property when buying a house can be both exciting and overwhelming. You might get so focused on cosmetic details, like a high-end kitchen counter, that you overlook minor warning signs of significant defects.
Typically, you can count on your real estate agent or inspection professionals to find those defects and alert you about them prior to closing. However, some defects are harder than others to spot. Also, the increase in cash purchases in recent months may mean that you did not have an inspection or appraisal.
Does that mean you just have to absorb the cost of the defect the seller did not disclose?
Those selling real estate have to tell you about known problems with the property
Even after you have already assumed tenancy of a property, the seller could still be liable for hiding defects before the closing. Minnesota law requires the written disclosure of all known issues with a property as part of a real estate transaction.
After you discover a defect, you may realize that the seller or their real estate agent actively tried to cover up signs of the issue, such as patching cracks in the drywall that indicated an issue with the foundation. You might also realize the seller was aware of the issue when you reach out to a local contractor who has already provided a quote for the repairs.
Once you know that the defect was likely there prior to closing and the seller didn’t notify you of it, you may need to reach out to their real estate agent to address the issue. If they don’t try to resolve the matter for you, you might have to go to court. Learning about real estate laws can help you fight back after fraud affected one of the biggest purchases of your life.