What can I do to reduce the risk of litigation in real estate transactions from the buyers perspective?
Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney, James Johnson, talks about how you can reduce the risk of litigation if you’re a buyer in a real estate transaction.
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Well I think with a buyer, it’s again, down to expectations. People who may not be experienced home buyers or are just getting out in the market and haven’t seen a lot of house that’s one of the keys that I found is if they’re just not, their expectation is the perfect house then you’re more likely to get involved in litigation. You have to go into it understanding that there may be quote, “hidden defects” the sellers honestly don’t know about. And so what you need to do is hire the right experts to find that out ahead of time. Not be afraid to spend some money up front.
If you’re going to invest $400,000.00 in buying a house, you should be able to afford a house inspection for 400 bucks. But there are people who want to cut corners and not do that inspection. But hiring a good house inspector who really knows what they’re doing and will find even the slightest thing. Now, you may end up getting a laundry list, 40-50 items long okay, now you can look at that and at least you have the power then to choose which one of these do we need corrected by the seller? Which other ones can we live with? Now if you say they all got to be corrected and you give a realistic deadline for them to accomplish that and the sellers really want to sell the house for what you’re paying they’ll do that. If you set an unrealistic deadline for all that stuff to get done, it’s not going to get done.
But there’s only so much you can do ahead of time to avoid total litigation ’cause you can have litigation over even unreasonable issues. But as a buyer hiring the right experts and then conducting your own multiple inspections. Where I see a lot of litigation is from both the buyer and the sellers perspective turns out the buyer was never even in the house they just sent an agent to go look at it or they sent their spouse and they didn’t go themselves. Or they went just once for 15 minutes. I recommend that buyers go through the house themselves two or three times before they buy any house that they’re going to buy and then still hire an inspector to go through it for the little, smaller things or the functioning of the house ’cause you’re not necessarily going to turn on every faucet or flush every toilet like a house inspectors going to do.