When you’re looking to buy a new house, the seller is obligated to disclose any defects that they know of in the house. For instance, maybe they have a leak in the roof and there’s water damage inside the home. They need to tell you about this defect so that you can determine how you want to proceed. They can’t intentionally cover anything up.
But what if they make a repair? Some people own homes for decades and probably make countless repairs. Do they have to tell you about all of this?
Major changes need to be disclosed
The seller probably doesn’t need to tell you about every tiny little repair they made, such as switching an outlet or installing a new faucet. But they are obligated to tell you about any “additions, remodeling and structural changes to the property.”
In other words, you have a right to know about major changes. They may not have to tell you if they fix that leaky faucet, but they probably do need to tell you if they tore the bathroom apart and installed all new fixtures. They also need to tell you if they have changed anything structurally, such as removing a wall to create an open concept.
Sellers may opt to tell you about other repairs or upgrades. In some cases, they see these as a benefit. If they just had the furnace replaced, that can help sell you on the house because you know you won’t have to think about it for a long time.
What if they don’t disclose everything?
If the seller does not disclose everything or tries to cover some things up, then you can run into some serious issues, and you need to know what legal steps to take to protect your future interests.