Caveat Emptor | Propertylogy

Caveat Emptor

By on September 27, 2018

Caveat emptor is a legal doctrine practiced in some states that property sellers are under no legal obligation to disclose a home’s defects except those that pose a threat to safety.

In other words, it means “buyers beware”.

It would be the buyer’s own responsibility to conduct home inspections to identify damages and defects which he has to deal with once the property is purchased.

This is as opposed to some states that require sellers to follow a checklist of items to check and declare it’s condition.

Buyers should immediately be more alert when contracts state any information that is “to the best of the seller’s knowledge” as they are basically get-out clauses sellers can ride on.

Because this means that a seller can easily make false declarations and later claim that they were not aware of certain defects or structural damage. So they were not lying or dealing in bad faith.

If anything, caveats overwhelmingly favor sellers compared to buyers.

With a general movement that is going towards more disclosure and better transparency, it boggles the mind that there can be certain states that allow such caveats to run rampant in the real estate industry.

It encourages and promote unethical selling practices and should be reviewed accordingly.

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