When it comes to buying a home in Toronto there are many theories as to what Sellers are legally required to disclose … and what they don’t have to disclose.
So Today I’m going to talk about some important things that Sellers legally have to (and don’t have to) disclose when selling a home in Toronto.
#1. Physical defects do NOT have to be disclosed.
For example, if a Buyer visits your home or they are conducting a home inspection and they can see a nail pop on the wall or a crack in the tile, or a crack in the window or counter-top, you do not have to disclose that.
According to a Real Estate Lawyer I spoke with even a stain under the bed or a whole in the wall behind a picture does not have to be disclosed.
Although it would be in your best interests to have issues like these fixed if possible.
I personally hate the term Buyer Beware. So when I work with Buyers and they are often looking at the cosmetics of the home and thinking about their lifestyle if they were to live there I’m usually looking for the slightly hidden & not so obvious things like these so as to look out for my client’s best interests.
#2. Latent defects that can not be seen or found during a Buyer Visit or by a Home Inspector DO have to be disclosed.
If a Seller knows about a “Material Latent Defect” and does not disclose it. while the transaction might be completed on schedule, a Buyer could sue the Seller even after the closing is completed.
Examples might include water damage that has not been fixed adequately. Smoke damages from a previous fire.
Or mold behind the walls, underground fuel tanks (although we rarely encounter those these days) and also possible foundation problems.
If a Buyer can prove (even after the purchase & sale was completed) that a Seller must have known about a “Material Latent Defect” they would likely have a good chance of winning a law suit.
One option that very few people know about or actually do is to do an INSURANCE SEARCH against a property to see if any prior claims were made that might indicate a residual or lingering problem.
For example claims to fix a water flood or fire.
#3. Psychological Stigmas do NOT have to be disclosed!
A Seller does not have to disclose if there has been a murder or suicide in or on the property or an adjoining property.
A Seller also does not have to disclose if they know a registered Pedophile lives on the same street.
However, having worked with MANY Buyers over the years I’ve learned a few tricks of my own to help my clients protect themselves.
One trick for example is to Google the property address and/or the street name.
If anything made the news or was written about (or basically exists anywhere on the Internet) you’ll find out about it.
There are also “apps” that can provide this information that I commonly use for my clients.
If you are thinking of buying a home and want to talk more about how to do it safely and smoothly I’m always happy to chat.