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What you should find out before buying a home

As a general rule, sellers must disclose any important information that they know about their Washington homes. For example, if a seller knows that the home has experienced a pest or rodent infestation, that must be communicated to the buyer. The same is also generally true if the current owner of a home knows that it has a leaky roof or a cracked foundation.

You should know if the home comes with furnishings

The seller is only required to leave items in the home if doing so is part of the purchase agreement. Therefore, unless it is stated in writing, the current owner of the home could take a washer and dryer set, blinds or custom light fixtures to his or her new home. It’s also not a good idea to assume that the seller will clean the home or otherwise make sure that it is suitable to live in from the day you first occupy it. If the seller fails to meet his or her contractual obligations, you may have grounds to initiate real estate litigation proceedings.

Don’t hesitate to ask for maintenance records

If the owner has made repairs while living in the property, you should know about them. This is especially true if the seller tried to make repairs to electrical components or other important items on his or her own. In the event that repairs were made by a professional, find out if there are any warranties or other guarantees that you might be entitled to.

The moment that a home purchase closes, you are typically responsible for any problems it may have. Although an exception may be made if a seller engaged in fraud, doing your due diligence is typically the best way to avoid any potentially costly issues.