If you buy an old overcoat in a used clothing store and the sales slip states “Sold As Is”, you’ve bought it moth holes and all, right? Well, maybe. This legal principle of “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware!) is dead or dying. We are living in an age of consumerism and it’s hard to find a court that won’t favor the buyer in a dispute. In fact, consumer groups and many government agencies are taking the posture that the seller must disclose everything.

If you have a problem in your home, don’t mask it. A common example is the homeowner who spray paints a ceiling to cover water stains caused by a leaking roof. If you have a problem that you don’t intend to correct, be candid about it. Sure, some people will be turned off by it, but the serious buyer will understand about a problem openly displayed. Usually, they will negotiate the price to cover the cost of the repair … and a whole lot less than a day in court would cost!!!