When homeowners have their house on the market, it is often tempting to pretend hidden problems do not exist in the house. After all, you want to get the highest amount possible for your property and investment. For instance, how would a potential buyer find out about a cracked foundation, a slow drain, or a problem with the sewer system?
Is It Okay to Hide Defects?
Certainly, there are home owners that will try to avoid disclosing certain defects of a property, however, it is illegal to sell a house under the premise that everything is in working and usable condition if there are known defects. Of course, there may be issues that the homeowner is unaware of, especially if they have not lived inside of the home. Some landlords who elect to sell a property rather than continue renting it may not be aware of certain aspects that are defective.
What if I Do Not Tell My Real Estate Agent About Defects?
Real estate agents have what is referred to as fiduciary duty to the people they are representing. This means that the law holds them to the duties that are specified in Oklahoma real estate laws. One of those duties is disclosure. In reality, you should be honest with your real estate agent to ensure that any deals that you enter do not come back to haunt you.
Seller Disclosure
The Oklahoma Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act requires that a seller provide the buyer with a written property disclaimer statement. This statement should state that either the owner has never occupied the property and makes no disclosures regarding the condition of the property, or the owner does not have any actual knowledge of defects. Under this act, if the seller does not disclose a defect that he or she was aware of, the buyer can pursue a civil action in the court of law against the seller or the real estate agent, claiming the seller or real estate agent failed to disclose specific defects.
It is not worth the losses that come along with expensive lawsuits to cover up defects in a house. If you are planning to sell your house, your best bet is to disclose any defects that you are aware of. If you have purchased a house in Oklahoma City with defects that the seller failed to disclose, you need an experienced Oklahoma City real estate lawyer. Call or contact the Law Office of Robert R. Robles at (405) 232-7980 today for a free consultation.