There's No Sure Way to Avoid Buyer Lawsuits

Special to The Times

Question: Is a home seller free from future lawsuits and liability problems after the sale closes? Is full and honest disclosure enough to assure no future legal problems?

Answer: Unfortunately, in today's litigious world, sellers and their agents are never safe from buyers. Most states now have statutes and court decisions requiring sellers to disclose in writing to buyers all known defects in the residence.

In states without such laws or precedent court cases, agents encourage sellers to fill out voluntary disclosure forms. Such disclosures protect both sellers and agents. However, as you know, anyone can sue anyone.

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Robert J. Bruss is a syndicated columnist, as well as a real estate investor, lawyer, broker and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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