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Home Building Defects| 
How To Identify Hidden Defects In A Home

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building defects| how to identify hidden defects in a home

House Building Defects
Identifying Defects In A Home

As home sellers, they are required to disclose anything that affects the quality, healthful and safety of their property, but many sellers try to hide defects in their home or omit telling buyers about them, especially when they’ve lived in it long enough to enjoy the positives. 

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The law requires that sellers or their agents disclose any defects about the home listed for sale; some defects are Visible to the buyer upon viewing, while others are not. 

Disclosure should include items such as any past flooding or flood risk, all unsafe conditions, breach of restrictive covenants or boundary line disputes and material defects in the structure.

Some defects affect a property’s sale and though they may not be as visible, they may have serious implications and cause buyers to walk away from the home purchase.

If a buyer decides to purchase a property with defects, the buyers would have to accept full responsibility of the defects and cannot later return to the buyer for any such claim. 

Case In Point!

A purchase'r bought a property that he viewed a few times. On the first viewing, he noticed the property needed some roofing repairs because of visible signs of leaking. The seller had placed a receptacle in a particular area, to collect water when it rains. The buyer then decided to bypass that property. Unable to identify anything within the given price, he opted to proceed with the previous property. When the sale was finalized and the repairs began, he found out that the roofing repairs were more severe than he had imagined or had planned for. The buyer is now demanding that the seller compensate him half the cost of the roof claiming the seller omitted the full damage to the roof.

Most sellers are not intentionally deceptive even if they do want to make their property look as nice as possible more often, they genuinely do not know about some defects that exist in their home. 

In the case above, the seller knew of a leak. He had not gotten a professional damage inspection report but knew the leak is a factor and hadn’t gotten around to it.

Some sellers are easily offended whenever buyers point out the flaws as defects. In the case above, the roof could be easily remedied, unlike the situations below. 

A Bad Layout

This can turn off buyers since they are not easily rectified and often are considered incurable defects; so, if the cost to fix exceeds the boost in expected selling price, it might be better to offer some credit to the buyer than to try to rectify. 

Examples of bad layouts include: 

  • Narrow doorways and living area 
  • Interior stairs facing an entrance 
  • Adjoining bedrooms with the only entrance from the other 
  • Guest bathroom in an unappealing location
  • Bedrooms located on separate levels from bathroom
  • Dining room in the center of the home 
  • Insufficient bedrooms to bathrooms (such as a three bedrooms with one bathroom) 
  • Entrance to Bathroom from kitchen 
  • Rooms or kitchen without proper ventilation 
  • The home’s second exit is from a bedroom 


Real estate is about location, so buyers will pass up a good home in a bad location in favor of a less desirable home in a good location and are quick to perceive some neighborhoods as bad. 

Whatever the reason for the perception, bad locations affect the value of homes in a negative way. 

Homes that require a lot of work 

Homes that require a lot of work will not sell for the same price as comparable homes that do not require work, as buyers will refuse to pay top market value for homes with deferred maintenance. 

Sometimes a buyer will purchase a home to fix up because the buyer expects the renovation to be a labor of love. However, those homes typically sell for a bit more due to location.

The right approach often is to put the home on the market at a price lower than competing inventory.

It’s not an approach designed to turn a profit from a sale, but it is better than leaving the home on the market for too long without any takers. 

Whether or not the seller voluntarily discloses a defect or tries to hide the defect, or is truly unaware of the defect, you, as a buyer, need to know about the defect before you close the deal.

In other words, they may have no idea about some of these problems, particularly if they do not use certain elements of the house. 

These types of homes sell for less than surrounding homes with more conforming layouts of similar square footage.

Many of these homes are sold to experts who have the vision to change the layout and resell the property at a high profit. 

See Also: How Much To Build A House In Jamaica?

Paula Jackson is a Licensed Real Estate Broker Realtor® with over 14 years in the Industry. She dedicates herself to the full service of Real Estate Business with the aim of creating a long term relationships by conducting business with the highest level of professional ethics.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Email feedback to, and for all the latest listings visit our website at

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