If you’re in the market for a new home or another piece of real estate, understanding what your rights are as a potential buyer can help to protect you from unfair finances, and winding up with a property that’s not exactly what you thought it was going to be. At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, we can answer all of your questions about buying property in Lynn. As you navigate the process, here are some important rights and information to keep in mind–
You Have the Right to Ask Questions (and Get Honest Answers)
One of the most important things that buyers should understand is that while a real estate agent or a seller definitely is obligated to tell you the truth about certain property elements and defects when asked, they have no duty to disclose this information if they are not asked. This means that asking questions is not only one of your most important rights in the home-buying process, but is one of your duties, too. Some important questions we urge future home buyers/purchasers of real estate to ask are:
- Has there ever been flooding on the property?
- What is the age of the water heater and other important appliances?
- Has the property been tested for radon?
- Is there lead paint? (Sellers have a duty to disclose the presence of lead paint without being asked).
- Has there been any mold detected?
- Does the home have a septic system? What condition is it in? (This too must be disclosed by the seller).
- Have there been any crimes or deaths on the property?
The questions that you ask will likely be dependent on the type of property you are buying, its location, and its age and condition.
You Have the Right to Order a Home Inspection
Even if you ask all of the questions you can think of and get answers that you believe are honest, you still have the right to order a home inspection, and should do so! A home inspector will examine the structure of a home and its interior, providing you with valuable information about the need for repairs. Depending upon the home, you may also consider hiring certain specialists, like a pest specialist, in addition to the home inspector. Don’t be tempted to waive your right to inspection as part of your buy-sell agreement.
You Have the Right–and the Obligation–to Do Due Diligence
Massachusetts recognizes the rule of caveat emptor , or “buyer beware.” Essentially, this means
that the duty is on the buyer to do due diligence, and that if there is a defect found on the
property after the sale, it’s the buyer’s problem, not the seller’s. As such, make sure you ask
plenty of questions, order a home inspection, and do whatever research about the property on
your own that is necessary before you assume ownership. If you don’t, you won’t have anyone
to blame but yourself.
You Have the Right to File a Lawsuit
Finally, note that you have the right to file a lawsuit in the event that you find out that the seller
misrepresented a defect on the property that there were asked about, or failed to disclose lead
paint or the presence of a septic system. Pursuing a lawsuit for fraud, misrepresentation, or
breach of contract is something you’ll definitely want legal representation for. However, be
mindful of the fact, that if you are forced to file a lawsuit, you will have to pay your own legal fees
and costs to pursue such a case and you may not be reimbursed for your legal fees and costs
unless you were to obtain a judgment in your favor and you are awarded legal fees and costs as
part of that judgment. You also may not receive reimbursement of your legal fees and costs
unless that is something negotiated in your favor as part of any settlement. Before instituting a
lawsuit, it is important to discuss and review with an experienced attorney on the merits of your
Call Our Lynn Real Estate Lawyer Today
If you’re buying a piece of real estate in Lynn, we strongly recommend working with a lawyer
throughout the process. At the law office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, our
lawyer has over 30 years’ experience representing clients like you, and is ready to get to work
on your case today.