Buying a house is a huge investment. Unless you build the house for your family, there may always be some things that you don’t know about your house before you buy it or for years thereafter.
Imagine that of one of the previous owners had died years earlier. The Seller may or may not have actual knowledge of anything that occurred prior to their ownership. Nonetheless, the Seller has no obligation to tell the Buyer if the person died in the home unless the Buyer asks a direct, specific question about it (ie. Has anyone ever died in this house?).
Massachusetts law puts the burden on the Buyer to ask the “right” questions of the Seller. The most significant way that most Buyers do their due diligence is by getting a very thorough inspection; however, there are two exceptions to this rule:
1. Lead paint: Under Section 197a, prior to signing a Purchase and Sales, the Seller must provide a signed copy of a lead paint disclosure. The Property Transfer Notification Certification advises the Buyer about the general dangers of lead paint and provides any information that the Seller might have about its presence in the property. This is one of the few documents that the real estate agents must sign during the entire transaction, but they are only confirming that they presented the information to the Buyer; and
2. Septic: Sellers must disclose whether there is a septic system on the property. Prior to closing, the Sellers must also provide a Title V which confirms that the system is working properly. Many Sellers will have the Title V inspection done prior to listing their home to avoid any potential issues that might be raised.
Some Buyer questions may also be answered by a simple Google search. Most sellers would not disclose if the house had some friendly (or unfriendly) ghosts; however, a simple online search might provide an answer to a curious Buyer.
Is there anything that you would want or not want to know about your house?
As always, please let us know if you have any questions about this or any other legal matters.
If you follow us on Facebook*, you probably know that we love to reference movies and television shows. We bet you know some of these names: Vinny Gambini. Rachel Zane. Saul Goodman. Fletcher Reede, Sol & Robert. Rebecca Bunch. Lionel Hutz. Elle Woods.
What do all of these names have in common? They are all attorneys created by Hollywood and take creative liberties about what it like to practice law in the real world.
1. Attorneys are more like chess players than dramatic actors. If you walk into a court house, you won’t see lawyers slamming their fists on the table or hear dramatic music. What you will find is lawyers huddled in a corner or in a conference room, trying to position their client in the most favorable way. There are, however, those Elle Woods toe tapping moments, where a new realization changes our next move.
2. Attorneys are actually decent people. Being an attorney means that you get to help people in your community with real solutions. We are generally nice people, just trying to perform a service, not the nasty, self serving jerks that Hollywood often makes us out to be.
3. Attorneys are pretty honest. We present evidence that is favorable to support our client’s position. We can be creative in arguments and questioning. We can present alternative explanations. Much to the surprise of some clients and as Fletcher Reede once said, we “cannot lie.”
4. Attorneys put a lot of work into an argument. Good attorneys can make a strong argument and make it appear effortless. One of our best friends participated scholarship pageants when we were in college. Did she wake up every morning looking like a Disney princess? Nope, but she wanted to win, so she practiced her singing and spent a lot of time fine tuning her interview skills. Similarly, attorneys spend hours, days and months looking at evidence and planning to argue our client’s position.
Who is your favorite lawyer on television or in a movie?**
If we can assist you in any legal matters, please call or email us at fayejslgal.com.
John & Faye
* If you don’t, you should: https://www.facebook.com/Wjslegal/?ref=bookmarks
** Ours is currently Saul Goodman!
One of the fun things about living and working in North Attleboro is the vibe during football season. We love the game and our football families; they support our community and we support them, often by just protecting their privacy.
The fascination that people have with “celebrity” is not always easy to understand. It’s something that we think about from time to time and can never truly reconcile.
Soon after Aaron Hernandez got arrested, someone asked me where he lived; the address and photos of the home were blasted across every news station, but this person wanted to know how long it would take to drive their from their current location and directions to the house (NO!). Prior to it being sold to an investor last year, we would hope gawkers stayed away out of respect for theneighbors and that only truly interested & qualified buyers toured the home out of respect for the realestate agent.
The Mayo family recently shared their family tragedy with the world with the hopes of finding their dog, Knox, and helping other families; however, some people on social media took it as an opportunity to ask where the family lives; they were not asking for a town, which was obvious from news coverage, but for the street address. WHAT? SERIOUSLY?
We, too, are guilty of some curiosity. During a late night Google search for random Guns and Roses trivia, we came across photos of Axl Rose’s house in Malibu, CA. We had never thought about what his house would look like, but certainly it should be worthy of a rock star, dark and mysterious, with empty whisky bottles all over the floor. Apparently, his house is in a surfing community and is about as bad ass as a rainbow unicorn covered in pink sparkles. We found it interesting and shared it on our Facebook page.*
What is it about celebrities and where they live that is so fascinating to people? We think that it’s about feeling connected to something bigger than us, whether it be a person, story or history, but here is an old article that discusses the phenomenon:
It’s ironic that we approach a holiday week that celebrates independence from England by reflecting on how independent we are not. This year is a little different for us. We aren’t going to comment on the immigration issues that divide our country at the moment. What we are thinking about is how we are never truly independent.
This week, the announcement was made public by Wicked Local that we won the best local attorneys in the region. As the news broke, we couldn’t help but thinking about how we got here and it’s not from being independent.
We are the faces of WJS Legal, but we are not the reason for our success. We would be lost without Katie and Kyla, who help keep us organized and moving forward flawlessly. We could not succeed without our realtors and lenders. Our survival depends on our family law clients who trust us with the most intimate and sensitive parts of their lives. We need all of you, who believe in us and support our work. We are, truly, only two people who are surrounded by greatness.
Thank you for always supporting us and Happy 4th of July!
John and Faye
What Do Charlie Sheen and Ninja Turtle Kush Have in Common?
What do you think of when you read the following phrases?
Ninja Turtle Kush.
Are you confused or laughing right now? If you are confused, you probably know these terms:
As we approach the one year anniversary of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts, here are a couple of quick updates to laws within the Commonwealth:
Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 created the Cannabis Advisory Board and Cannabis Control Commission. The board is making recommendations regarding regulations and taxation of marijuana. Cities and towns may establish zoning by-laws and ordinances which allow commercial growing and cultivation. Cities and town may also impose a local sales tax of up to 3% upon the sale of marijuana and marijuana products (in addition to the 17% percent state sales tax);
Chapter 94I has specified that a person cannot be arrested or prosecuted for being in the presence of medical use and that insurance companies are not obligated to reimburse patients for the use of medical marijuana.
As always, please let us know if you have questions regarding this or anything else.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this website does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion as to any particular matter. Nor is it intended to create an attorney-client, business or professional relationship. You should not rely on the information contained in this website without first speaking with an attorney. No claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website are made. This material may be considered advertising under the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.