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What Is ‘Buyer Beware’ In West Virginia?

| Dec 23, 2020 | Consumer Protection

An important concept in sales markets is that of ‘caveat emptor.’ This statement serves as a warning to buyers that an item or property will be sold ‘as is.’ In many situations, this means that by making a buyer aware of this, they have no legal recourse if some part of the purchased item ends up being faulty or defective. In effect, the buyer assumes all the risk in the transaction. Therefore, it is up to them to inspect and verify that an item is worth the price it’s being offered for. 

Consumer protections in West Virginia

Real estate agents are obligated to be truthful when presenting information about a property in West Virginia. That being said, sellers are not obligated to give potential buyers a formal disclosure regarding a property’s state. This rule puts buyers at risk when it comes to purchasing a property. Understand the ways that a seller might violate the prohibitions in this law:

  • If a seller commits fraud in the presentation of a property, they may be in violation. These violations could include concerted and deliberate attempts to conceal damages or flaws.
  • Gross misrepresentations of the property being sold can result in the buyer being owed punitive damages.
  • Falsified disclosure statements can serve as proof of an active concealment.

Protecting the interests of a buyer

Seller’s should be required to disclose any property elements they know to present financial risks to a buyer. Until that becomes the case, buyers need to learn how a seller may violate the guidelines for presenting a property. Good documentation is always essential to providing the necessary evidence if a seller is found acting fraudulently.

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