Does a seller have to tell a buyer of defects in the house? Or Is It Buyer Beware?

Reblogger Joe Jackson
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty 277320

This is an important point to observe on correct disclosures.  Sometimes a home has problems  that a seller is not aware of and are disclosed by a professional inspector.

Many have heard the old saying “buyer beware” (translation of the latin caveat emptor), meaning that it is the responsibility of a home buyer to inspect and discover defects in the purchase of a home. This was the law in South Carolina until after World War II and has been in a constant state of change ever since.

Today, a seller of a home in South Carolina must disclose defects or other conditions of the home to the buyer of which he/she has knowledge, especially if the defects are hidden and are not discoverable upon a reasonable inspection of the property. Failure to do so on the seller’s part may amount to fraud and can expose the seller to substantial damages in court.

Such defects are usually disclosed through a state-approved Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement, which is required to be completed by every seller prior to execution of a contract of sale (unless the requirement is waived by the parties or the seller is exempt for some reason as with REO properties.) The statement allows the seller to either represent that there are known defects, that there are not any known defects, or that the seller is making “no representation.”  Purchasers should, however, keep in mind that this form is not a warranty by the seller and does not relieve the purchaser from conducting his/her own due diligence inspection.

According to South Carolina Code Section 27-50-50, failure to provide the disclosure does not void the agreement, create a defect in title or present a “valid reason to delay or otherwise interfere with the closing…by a party including the real estate attorney or lender.” Therefore, it is up to the purchaser or their agent to make sure the statement is provided. And sellers should keep in mind that an owner who knowingly fails to disclose a defect in the disclosure or makes a false, incomplete or misleading statement is liable to the purchaser for actual damages and court costs. The court may also ask the seller to pay the purchaser’s attorney fees.


Sheila Newton, CDPE                              
Sheila Newton Team                                                                        

RE/MAX Realty Professionals
864-225-1205 (direct)
864-225-2424 (fax)   



Looking for a new home? Use our Quick Search or Map Search to browse an up-to-date database of available properties in the Anderson, Greenville, Easley, and other areas, OR use our Dream Home Finder form, and we will conduct a personalized search for you! 

Interested in SC Foreclosures or Short Sales? We have specialized in distressed properties for over 20 years. We can provide you a list of available SC foreclosure or short sale properties.  in Anderson, Greenville or any other Upstate SC area.                                       

                Friend Feed           

Newton Cat - Bruce    Newton Cat - Moon   Cat - Newton - Weasel   Repo




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Disclose, disclose, disclose.  When a buyer finds the right home, they love it, warts and all.

Apr 14, 2012 08:40 PM #2
Insurance Solutions Unlimited,LLC
Insurance Solutions Unlimited, LLC - Winter Haven, FL
Insurance Solutions Unlimited,LLC

Disclosure is very important, I have seen a couple of lawsuits from agents failure to disclose things on a property  

Apr 14, 2012 09:31 PM #3
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Joe Jackson

Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert
Ask me a question about Real Estate!
Spam prevention

Additional Information