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Examining a broker's responsibility to reveal property defects

Maryland residents looking to purchase commercial real estate may be interested in their rights with regard to defects in property. If the real estate broker knew about serious defects in the property, they may be liable for the damages.

When a buyer is looking to enter into a commercial real estate transaction, they may be concerned about defects in the property that cannot be seen without closer inspection. In cases where the real estate agent knows about these defects, they may be required to disclose them prior to the sale. Under Maryland law, any material facts related to the property, whether they are known by the real estate broker or if the broker should have known them, must be disclosed to the buyer.

This means that when the broker has actual knowledge of facts that would have a material effect on the ownership of the property, they must tell the buyer before there is a transfer of property. This is particularly important when the defects are latent, meaning that they would not be easily seen during a simple visual inspection of the property. These latent defects could include water damage that has been covered up and structures that are improperly constructed or do not provide the necessary support.

If the real estate broker fails to disclose these defects or material facts to the buyer, they could be liable when the buyer later finds out. In these situations, a real estate attorney may be able to help. The attorney may be able to assess the situation with the property and bring the appropriate legal action against the broker or seller. The attorney may also be able to help in other commercial real estate matters, including negotiating and drafting the sales agreements and assisting with permit issues.

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