Understanding Caveat Emptor

 Alabama is Different than most other States…. I can’t say for sure but based on my research, the only states that are still caveat emptor states are Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama. When a person buys real estate in these three states, they need to fully understand it is their responsibility to make sure they know what they’re getting, that it’s in good condition and works properly. When the buyer does his due diligence to have the property inspected, their legal rights remain in place after closing should some latent structural defect appear. If a buyer elects not to have the proper inspection done, closes on the transaction and then a latent structural defect appears and the buyer sues for damages; numerous Supreme Court cases have ruled in favor of the seller and stated caveat emptor; the buyer is responsibility to inspect the property prior to purchase.

BUYER BEWARE

This is a topic I try to talk about in every class I teach because it is the most important and the least understood law. I intentionally try to scare real estate agents to get them to understand the importance of the law and the effects it has on people buying real estate in Alabama. Today I will tell you how to see the law as it is written, disclose the other states that have the same law, and explain the dangers and remedies associated with caveat emptor.

Caveat Emptor is the law in Alabama…..

The Alabama Supreme Court has held caveat emptor to be the law in a consistent line of cases. Everyone should be on notice that there is no warranty which comes with the sale of a used home.

Real estate agents were taught when completing their educational requirements to get their license that caveat emptor is a Latin [Read more…]

“Caveat Emptor” Buyer Beware

Don't be afraid--Be aware

If you understand the title of this blog, chances are you are in a real estate related business. When buying real estate in Alabama the words “Caveat Emptor” is of utmost importance.  Let’s take a look at the meaning of the term and how it affects Alabama real estate buyers.

Caveat emptor (ˌkæviːɑːt ˈɛmptɔr) is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.”Generally, caveat emptor is the property law doctrine that controls the sale of real property after the date of closing. Under the doctrine of caveat emptor, the buyer could not recover from the seller for defects on the property that rendered the property unfit for ordinary purposes. The only exception was if the seller actively concealed latent defects or otherwise made material misrepresentations amounting to fraud.

Before statutory law, the buyer had no warranty of the quality of goods. In many jurisdictions now, the law requires that goods must be of “merchantable quality.” However, this implied warranty can be difficult to enforce and may not apply to all products. Hence, buyers are still advised to be cautious.

Not all states are Caveat Emptor states. [Read more…]