Buying a new home is supposed to be an exciting milestone. It’s a huge accomplishment and something you’ve worked hard for and the last thing you or any new homeowner wants to experience is a massive and unexpected home repair bill. On the flip side, no seller wants to be faced with a lawsuit related to a property they were looking to move on from.
To avoid these types of situations it’s important that buyers and sellers understand their rights, duties and obligations as they make their way through a real estate transaction.
Wondering what those are?
You may have heard the phrase “caveat emptor” which translates to “let the buyer beware”. This doesn’t mean that as a buyer you are left completely open to any and every risk with no recourse. However, what it does mean is that as a buyer in the Alberta market you are expected to make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect yourself as you enter into your new home purchase. This means doing things like hiring a licensed professional to conduct a home inspection for you so that you are aware of and able to address any potential issues prior to closing on your new home.
As a seller in Alberta you are obligated to disclose any material latent defect associated with the property you are selling. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) defines this as “a physical defect that is not discernible through a reasonable inspection”.
As explained by RECA, material latent defects are any defects to the property that may make it dangerous to those living there, make it not fit to be lived in, or make the property unusable for the specific purpose that the buyer intends. That is assuming that this intended purpose is known to the seller.
How can a real estate lawyer help you?
If you are buying or selling a home and have questions regarding specific issues related to the property in question a real estate lawyer can help. A real estate lawyer can advise you on your duty to disclose a specific issue related to a home you’re selling. Alternatively, if you’ve found an issue in a home you’ve already purchased, a real estate lawyer can advise you of your rights moving forward.
For information on how a real estate lawyer can help you throughout your real estate journey check out our previous blog post Why you should hire a lawyer before buying and selling a home.
At Hayes-Fry law we’re passionate about real estate! If you have questions related the purchase or sale of a home, our real estate team is here to help. Give our office a call today at 780.831.7370 or email reception@HayesFryLaw.ca. We look forward to helping you navigate your real estate transaction.
The following resources were relied on in the preparation of this blog:
- Real Estate Council of Alberta, “Your Obligations” (2023), Online: https://www.reca.ca/consumers/selling-a-home/your-obligations/#material-latent-defects.