Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC | attorneys at law

What if the seller hid defects in the real estate you purchased?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2021 | Real Estate

Whether you bought a industrial facility or a residential property, you probably looked closely at the seller’s disclosure and made a point of touring the space with your real estate agent to check for defects and likely had a professional inspection.

Unfortunately, even buyers who performed their due diligence may not be aware of problems with a piece of real estate, especially in large or older buildings. This risk increases when sellers try to cover up signs of damage, possibly by making temporary, makeshift repairs that do nothing but cosmetically disguise the issue.

Do you have any options if you discover hidden or latent defects in your newly purchased piece of real estate after closing?

Illinois state law requires that sellers disclose known issues

Some problems develop slowly over years and show no warning signs prior to sudden, catastrophic failure. Other times, there is a gradual wearing or degradation of systems at the property that the owner will eventually notice.

When the seller has knowledge of any issues with the property they list for sale, they must disclose that defect to the potential buyer. Failing to do so is essentially a form of fraud and can open a seller up to civil liability for those property issues.

Signs of covering up the issue are usually evidence that a seller knew about the problem and how it could affect the value of the property. You could potentially make a claim against them for the cost of repairs or the lost value to the property caused by the issue.

Discovering a major problem with a recently purchased property is a frustrating experience. Knowing your rights as a buyer can help you if you pursue real estate litigation to recover the losses you suffered.