Caveat Emptor

     

    Caveat Emptor

    If you are a parent of a school age kid, you are most definitely aware of fidget spinners; those obnoxious metal contraptions that children spin on their finger to rid themselves of stress. Unfortunately, they cause much undo stress to parents. Case in point: my daughter decided she just HAD to have one, and paid $14.99 (not kidding) at the local toy store for this precious toy. Less than a month later, it no longer spun. So we took it back to the toy store, and the young girl behind the counter got on the phone with the owner. She then relayed to me that they had not sold said fidget spinner in at least a month. Yeah right. So now my kid was out 15 bucks, and I was ticked. I felt sorry for her, even though I’m pretty sure that fidget spinners cause brain damage. So I got online and found a company that sells them for a couple of dollars. Of course they were shipped from China. Come to find out, they contain lead, mercury, and kryptonite. So now we were back to square one–perfect example of buyer beware. In the state of Alabama, there is no duty or requirement by the homeowner to disclose any defects other than health and safety. The only exception to this is if there is a direct inquiry from an agent or potential buyer. There are only a handful of states that that are non-disclosure or caveat emptor states. Cue the inevitable jokes about Alabama being backwards! . At any rate, when buying a piece of property in the state of Alabama, one must be aware of this law. One of the top real estate brokers at the beach just recently told me a story. A buyer had recently purchased a condo, but did not want to get an inspection first. He figured that the seller would agree to his price and other terms, if the sale was not contingent on an inspection. Big mistake. Turns out the entire HVAC system had to be replaced about 2 weeks after closing. He called the broker, asking if there was anything that could be done. In most states, the seller would be required to fill out a property disclosure, and more than likely the problem would have been revealed. But in this case, the broker explained to the buyer that there was nothing that could be done, because of Alabama real estate laws. With this being said, the fact that Alabama is a buyer beware state does not mean that one should not buy property in the state. It simply means that one must always get an inspection on any property, even if it is brand-new. Another good idea is to make, as part of the purchase agreement, the sale contingent upon a satisfactory disclosure provided by the seller. While this is certainly not a legal requirement of the seller, as it is in most states, most sellers will have no problem completing one to expedite the sale of their property. Of course, if you have any further questions, the professionals at The Henry Group will be happy to assist you!

    Written By: Helen Henry

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