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I found a problem with my new home, what can I do?

Posted on January 16, 2018

Residential real estate transactions in Missouri are not extensively governed by legal statutes. The homeowner has a limited responsibility to disclose defects in the house when selling the property. However, if you found a significant problem with your home after moving in recently, there are some things you can do to address it.

Beyond Caveat Emptor

If there’s a serious structural issue that needs repair such as a leaky roof or a cracked foundation, you need money to cover the repair costs. “Caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware, is the usual approach that Missouri has towards real estate transactions. Even so, the real estate agent that represented the seller’s property needs to uphold his or her duty to be honest about the property as outlined by the Missouri Real Estate Commission.

Fraud Findings

If the real estate agent or seller makes a statement of fact to you that they knew was false, that qualifies as fraud. A statement from an owner that a septic tank was cleaned out recently yet is fraudulent if you need to hire a septic repair person that states the tank’s maintenance has been nonexistent.

Breach Of Contract Possibilities

A contract gets breached when agreed-upon guarantees in the document don’t come to fruition. An example of a breach of contract is if repairs promised in writing as part of the purchase agreement but never took place before the sale finalized.

Methods of Recourse

If you’ve had to sink money into your new home to take care of problems you feel should have been disclosed, or you think were misrepresented, it can be helpful to consult an attorney that specializes in real estate transactions. You’ll be able to find out what methods of recourse are available in your situation, and possibly recoup the money you’ve spent getting your home in order.