Most people, when they hear that a house is being sold ‘without legal warranty’ assume that means the house is in horrible condition, or that the seller has something to hide. I go over exactly what the phrase means, the reasons why sellers might want to sell a house this way, and all the ways the laws are designed to still keep everyone safe.
Today’s question is actually from Paul, asking what does it mean when a home is being sold “without legal warranty”? Great question.
Essentially, this means that you’re taking the home as is. Hearing this makes buyers assume there are a lot of issues with the home–but that’s not necessarily true. Here are a few scenarios we see quite often:
a) the seller themselves bought the home wihtout a legal warranty
b) the people selling the home are older
c) the sellers themselves haven’t lived in the home, having it rented or it’s a succession or estate sale
The most important thing to note here is that the seller is still required by law to disclose any problems that the home might have. Selling the home without legal warranty doesn’t change this at all. If there are issues that the seller knew about and didn’t disclose, or reasonably should have known about, you can still go after them.
Hidden or Latent Defects
What selling without legal warranty specifically covers is what’s referred to as hidden or latent defects. These are issues with the home that may have been present at the time of sale, but there’s no way anyone could have known about them.
In certain cases when there is legal warranty, if you can prove there was an issue there prior to you buying the home, you can actually go back on the seller and request them to cover all or some of the costs associated with it. This is why it’s even more important to have an inspection when the home is being sold out legal warranty.
The bottom line is that the laws for buying and selling properties are set up to protect the average Joe. It can seem complicated or over the top at times, but they’re really in place to protect people from getting into really difficult situations.
This is #AskPete. If you have any real estate questions, feel free to send them and I will get you the answers. Or stay up to date on the latest tips for real estate buyers and sellers by clicking the YouTube button below: