Hidden Defect? The Broker’s Responsibilities
A few weeks after moving into your new home, you discover that water is seeping in through the roof. When you remove part of the drywall from the ceiling, you notice a significant amount of mould. The seller has omitted one important detail in his seller’s declaration: this is not the first incident of water infiltration. You are now faced with a hidden defect: a problem that existed when the property was purchased, that is unknown to the buyer, that is not apparent during a visual inspection and that could have resulted in the buyer withdrawing their offer or requesting a lower price.
A broker’s responsibilities
The mandatory Declarations by the seller of the immovable form is an integral part of the brokerage contract and represents an additional protection for consumers. A real estate broker must complete this form with their selling client and must help the selling client answer all questions to the best of their knowledge and not omit details that could jeopardize the transaction if they were known.
Because brokers are used to encountering various problems with properties, they must also ask the right questions for their buying clients during property visits (good functioning of the swimming pool, fireplace or heat pump, for example). In addition, brokers must recommend to their buying clients that they have the property inspected by a building inspector.
Whether it’s for a buying client or selling client, a real estate broker must be transparent and disclose all of the information he or she knows about a property. If you need to obtain legal advice or send a formal notice, your broker will be able to refer you to a qualified professional.
Seller’s Declaration: A Reassuring Obligation