On occasion real estate agents are presented with difficult and challenging facts. There has been damage to a building. It was repaired. The Insurance company paid. But the question is whether or not it’s completely rectified. In some situations, that would be the case, but in others, it’s half-complete. The real risk is still there. Disclosure is quite problematic.
- Sellers are required to disclose material, known latent defects which effect the structural integrity of the building or render the premises unfit for human occupation. In addition, sellers must also disclose material patent defects, if they have been intentionally concealed.
2. Previous material repairs or renovations must be disclosed if it has not resulted in complete rectification. To simply say, once it’s repaired, then it’s fine would be incorrect.
However, I do acknowledge that the statements which to my mind appear questionable might emanate from what I would have thought to be a reliable source. However, I still wouldn’t use them since they are questionable.
This type of situation is always difficult, and it arises quite frequently. First, your obligation to your Seller (client) is to follow the Seller’s directions. So, you need to obtain the Seller’s permission to make this disclosure. The Seller’s disclosure obligations are more limited than yours.
Sellers are required to disclose material, known latent defects which effect the structural integrity of the building or render the premises unfit for human occupation. In addition, sellers must also disclose material patent defects, if they have been intentionally concealed.
Your obligation is much broader. You have to disclose “material facts”. That’s a statutory duty. You can’t just take the Seller’s word, you are under a duty to determine, investigate and verify the material facts.
You might have a CONFLICT.
If the Seller says “don’t tell”, then just walk away from the listing, otherwise you will find yourself in a mess (lawsuit).
Under the Code, although expressed differently, there may actually be no difference whatsoever between the obligation to a client and the obligation to a customer. That may be more theoretical than real. It will be very difficult for you to come up with an example of a disclosure which would be required for a client, but not for a customer. I don’t know of any such examples myself.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker