Purchasing Real Estate in Alabama? Buyer Beware!

A building inspector holding a clipboard and looking out over a living room.

Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting times in your life. But it can also be quite a stressful time, with so much to remember and so much to do. And if you’re purchasing ANY Property in the state of Alabama, buyer beware: there is no warranties or guarantees on the purchase.

That wrinkle has an impact on how you should go about the-buying process. Here’s what you need to know:

The Law

As stated above, Alabama is a “buyer beware” state. This means when an existing real estate is sold in the State, the seller and their agents are not necessarily required to disclose defects to the buyer. They must disclose if they are directly asked about a problem or if it poses an immediate health or safety risk to the buyer. And while they can’t misrepresent conditions they’re asked about, they don’t have to tell you about any non-health threatening problems you don’t ask about. The onus is on you to do your due diligence.

What to Do

Of course, doing that due diligence involves more than just taking a good look at the house. Rather than just touring a property and asking about every potential issue you can think of, you have the option of getting an inspection. A home inspector can help you verify the condition of the property. In Alabama, these inspectors are licensed by the State of Alabama Division of Construction Management.


During the pandemic-fueled housing boom of the past few years, many buyers chose to waive their inspection to make themselves a more desirable candidate to buy. But that is a risky move and with the market cooling, many buyers are once again insisting on inspections. Meanwhile, sellers have the option to pay for a pre-listing inspection from a third party to make their home more appealing to buyers. This will give the seller an idea of what should be repaired or upgraded.

Title Insurance

Most mortgage companies require title insurance to secure a mortgage. There are two types of title insurance, lenders tile insurance and owner’s title insurance. Lenders title insurance protects the mortgage company from any boundary disputes, conflicting wills, liens, encroachments, etc. Owners title insurance is recommended and usually costs approximately 0.5% to 1% of the home value and the coverage is for the amount of the value of the property and stays in place as long as you own the home. This policy covers you, instead of the lender, from any potential title issues that could arise. Major owners title insurance companies include Fidelity, First American, or Stewart.

Whether you’re buying or selling, the home sale process can be stressful with everyone just trying to get the best deal possible. If you feel the need to have a professional on your side, Atlas Valuation can help. We offer valuation services such as home appraisals in the area of Auburn, AL. Call 334-737-6993 to get started today!

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