Lanaudière Real Estate Broker, Rawdon Real Estate Broker

Sale without legal warranty of quality, at the buyer’s risk: what to think?

Written by Guillaume Tremblay
March 23, 2023
What to think about this mention, at buyer's risk?
Share this post:
What to think about this mention, at buyer's risk?

It’s crucial to understand the meaning of the phrase “Sale without legal warranty of quality, at buyer’s risk” for both buyers and sellers. This type of sale is becoming more and more prevalent, and our real estate brokers in Lanaudiere can provide you with further information on the topic.

What is meant by sale without legal warranty of quality?

Hidden defects are serious issues that are not visible prior to the sale and unknown to the buyer at the time of purchase.

The legal warranty of quality may or may not be included in a sale, but in Quebec, it applies automatically to all sales of goods by professionals or individuals.

If the legal warranty is included and you discover a hidden defect that was not found during the pre-purchase home inspection, you may hold the seller responsible. However, if the warranty is excluded, you have very limited recourse against the previous owner, although major omissions are still punishable.

It’s important to note that we’re not referring to a defect that was hidden in bad faith. A seller who knowingly conceals or fails to disclose a defect would be committing fraud, and the law would be on your side in such a case, regardless of whether the sale included a legal warranty.

Therefore, it’s always advisable for the buyer to have the property inspected by a professional before the purchase to detect any clues that could lead to the discovery of hidden defects. The buyer must be cautious and diligent.

Selling your home without a legal guarantee of quality, but at which cost?

It’s common to see exclusions of the legal warranty of quality, particularly in the sale of a property by an estate or after a bank repossession. Similarly, it’s often advised for elderly individuals to sell their property without this guarantee to avoid the possibility of recourse against themselves or their estate.

While selling your home without the legal warranty of quality may be tempting, you should be aware that it will decrease the price. According to a 2015 study*, homes sold without this warranty sold for 8% less than those with the warranty, which amounts to $16,000 less for a $200,000 home. That’s a significant difference!

Please understand that as a seller, this exclusion of the legal warranty does not exempt you from everything. You can’t do whatever you want with the property!

When should you sell with the legal guarantee of quality?

Generally, sales without a legal warranty of quality are often related to successions, elderly individuals, or cases where the buyer is at fault for non-payment.

  • Successions because heirs are often unfamiliar with the property they inherit and don’t want to risk being sued for something they were not involved in.
  • Elderly individuals because they want to avoid stress when selling their home. They look for something more suitable for their lifestyle and sell their property at a slightly lower price but with the assurance that they won’t be sued.
  • Banks because when they reclaim property due to non-payment, selling without a legal warranty of quality protects them from any potential lawsuits. They want to sell quickly.

When selling a property, an excellent tool is the Seller’s Declaration. Your realtor will assist you in completing this document. You will disclose all problems that could affect the value of the property, which greatly reduces the chance of defects being considered hidden.

By disclosing everything you know, you will inform your buyers and be in a better position in case of any potential lawsuits. They will know everything they need to know before buying the house.

Courtier Immobilier Lanaudière helps you make the right real estate choices

Our team of real estate professionals is available to assist both buyers and sellers throughout the entire real estate transaction process. Whether you are interested in selling your property or searching for a home for sale in Lanaudiere, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Do you have any questions about the legal guarantee of quality? We would be more than happy to provide you with further information and answer any questions you may have.

Back to top