Flipped House For Sale – Does Realtor Have a Duty to Disclose It Was Flipped?

In usual circumstances, the realtor or agent attached to the sale of a property may not hold any liability in the purchase of the house even if the home was originally purchased and flipped unless there are defects from the flipping. It is important to understand who is responsible for injury after the sale of the property when flipping the house is part of the process.

What Is a Flipped House?

When a person wants to enter into or is already part of the real estate market, he or she will purchase a property that does not require too much work at a reasonable or low cost and then effect maintenance and repairs. After these are complete, the buyer will increase the value of the house and then sell it to another person or company. At this point, the profit is generally sufficient to continue on the same track with another location or in the same city or state depending on the local market and opportunities available. Leaving a flipped house with defects could lead to liability with an injured buyer.

Failure to Disclose

There are many situations when a realtor or real estate agent will not need to disclose certain information. These sales often are in specific states that possess fewer or more lax laws with the disclosure of details to buyers. The failure to disclose in these areas is often not a problem unless the property has defects after the previous buyer flipped the home. The realtor, real estate agent or even the house flipper may hold some or all responsibility for a failure to disclose with defects and injuries. In other states, the lack of disclosure for the flipped status is sufficient to hold the agent or other involved party at fault.

Flipped House Defect

There are often two different situations that involve defective issues with a flipped house. The first could lead to legal problems for the house flipper, and this happens when he or she purchases the house but does nothing to repair the problems. In these situations, the person will say he or she did flip the house but did not increase the value while still requiring a greater amount for sale. He or she may involve another party to assess the property and explain that the valuation is higher than it is so that a larger sale is possible.

The second situation where the flipped house will possess a defect is if the current owner does not repair or replace something he or she is aware of or did not discover. The disclosure of any pertinent matter such as a flip is generally necessary for the specific states that have increased disclosure rules. The defect may become apparent for a potential buyer that assesses or surveys the property through a professional. Then, the seller may repair or fix the issue before the purchase completes. If the state holds the seller responsible for the defect, he or she may owe damages to the buyer. In states that hold the buyer at fault, the seller may have no obligation for defects that harm the buyer after the sale.

Agent Liability

When a realtor attempts to sell a house that the seller flipped, he or she is not generally liable for damages owed to the buyer unless defects exist. In many situations based on the state, this requires obvious defects that the realtor is aware of or is able to see. The realtor has little responsibility with these matters as the state may require the buyer to perform an assessment of the property to discover any possible defective issues that exist. The duty to remove defects that arise through a walkthrough or when assessing the property is normally part of the responsibility of the buyer.

Inspectors, surveyors and other professionals are normally part of the initial and intervening stages of the purchase. The buyer generally must perform these steps before signing papers for the sale. The seller will often change the price of the sale when he or she must perform additional repairs or fix certain defects.

Legal Support for a Flipped House

Depending on the sale circumstances, the actions of the seller may include the purchase of insurance to protect the property before the sale completes. The buyer may need to purchase homeowners’ insurance during or after the purchase. It is important to hire a lawyer to hold the seller responsible for defects with a flipped house.

Provided by HG.org