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Consequences of disclosure failures in real estate transactions

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Real Estate |

Real estate transactions in Florida can be intricate affairs, often involving multiple parties and a large amount of paperwork. Amidst the complexity, one aspect that significantly impacts these transactions is the disclosure of information about the property for sale.

Disclosure failures occur when sellers do not fully outline all relevant information about a property to potential buyers. This can lead to a host of negative consequences for both buyers and sellers alike.

Financial losses

Buyers may incur unexpected expenses for repairs or remediation of undisclosed issues, such as structural defects or environmental hazards. Additionally, the value of the property may decrease if undisclosed problems come to light after the transaction is complete, leading to financial losses for the buyer and potentially legal disputes between parties.

Legal battles

When buyers discover undisclosed issues after purchasing a property, they may feel misled or deceived. This can lead to disputes between buyers and sellers, often culminating in litigation. Common disclosure-related issues that can lead to litigation include:

  • Structural defects, such as foundation problems or roof leaks
  • Environmental hazards like mold, asbestos or contamination
  • Hidden legal disputes, such as boundary disputes or zoning violations
  • Lack of proper permits for material changes made to the property

In Florida, buyers have legal recourse if they can prove that the seller knew about a defect or issue and did not disclose it.

Damaged reputation

In a competitive market like Florida, trust and integrity are non-negotiable. Sellers who neglect to disclose important details about a property can tarnish their reputation. Word of mouth travels fast, and negative experiences with undisclosed issues can deter future buyers and harm the seller’s credibility.

To avoid the pitfalls of non-disclosure, transparency is key in real estate transactions. Sellers should provide comprehensive disclosures upfront, giving buyers a full picture of the property’s condition and history. Likewise, buyers should conduct thorough inspections and due diligence to uncover any potential issues before closing the deal.

Founding Partners Damaso W. Saavedra and Allyson D. Goodwin