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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Jason A Greller

Basement Leaks after Closing. Can a Buyer force the Seller to Repair under Wisconsin Law?

Whether you can require the seller to fix the basement leak depends on several factors, such as the terms of the purchase agreement and whether the seller was aware of the issue and failed to disclose it.

Here are some steps you may consider taking:

  1. Review the purchase agreement and seller's disclosures: Check the terms of your purchase agreement and any disclosures provided by the seller, such as the Real Estate Condition Report. If the seller disclosed the basement leak or if the purchase agreement explicitly states that the property is being sold "as-is," it may be difficult to hold the seller responsible for the repairs.

  2. Determine if the seller was aware of the issue: If the seller did not disclose the basement leak and you believe they were aware of the issue, they may have breached their duty to disclose known material defects. You may need to gather evidence to support your claim, such as statements from neighbors or documentation of previous repairs.

  3. Consult a qualified attorney: If you believe the seller was aware of the basement leak and failed to disclose it, consult with a qualified attorney experienced in Wisconsin real estate law. They can help you understand your legal rights and potential remedies, which may include negotiating with the seller for repairs, seeking monetary damages, or even rescinding the sale in some cases.

  4. Consider other options: If it is not possible to hold the seller responsible for the repairs, you may need to explore other options, such as homeowner's insurance coverage or obtaining estimates from contractors to fix the issue.

Please note that this information is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your specific situation and understand your legal options.

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