Real estate disclosures come with many questions for both a buyer and seller. Our rule of thumb? Be as open and honest as possible. In our latest post, we will cover what you need to disclose by law.
Being an open and honest seller will not only help you avoid a lawsuit, but it will also make you a trustworthy person. Hiding defects, looming repairs, and any other issues with the home will only come back to bite you in the end.
Most real estate lawsuits occur because of non-disclosure.
So exactly how much are you required to disclose legally? Basically, anything that can affect the value of the property. Here are just a few of the things you should address:
- Land issues such as drainage bad soil and potential for flooding needs to be addressed. Remember that a building can be limited by bad soil and low-lying areas can be prone to flooding and water damage.
- Disclose foundation level and known cracks. The house can experience structural damage if it has settled more than it already has. Foundation level and known cracks must be disclosed. If the house settles more than it already has, it could experience structural damage.
- You must discuss plumbing problems, sewer issues, and leaky pipes because some of the most expensive repairs is as a result of water damage.
- Any problems or irregularities with the heating and cooling systems should be addressed.
- You must also inform your buyer if you have problem with insects such as cockroaches, ants, termites and rats and mole.
- Before your buyer finds out that your roof is leaking or missing shingles, you must tell them about it. .
- Lead paint is a no-brainer. This disclosure is one of the most common you will see with home sales and rentals.
- You need to talk from the onset if there are issues affecting the title or rightful ownership of the property. This should not be done during closing process but rather from the onset.
- You should also have documentation for repairs and insurance claims you’ve made in the past. You should be able to describe what was done and the materials used.
Depending on your state, you may be required to provide a thorough disclosure of hazard zones, which include flooding, earthquakes, and other environmental factors affecting the land. Other states may require you to discuss all violent crimes committed in your home. Not every state requires this, but it is a good rule of thumb to follow. Think about what you would want to know if you were buying a home for yourself!
Disclosures help a buyer learn as much as possible about a house before making their purchase.
You are selling a great home right? A much bigger problem can occur if you keep minor, needed repairs to yourself. It is during inspection that issues a seller is not ready for pop. Imagine, your asking price slashed because of a defect you were unaware of. Your house is a multi-faceted machine. For this reason, many homeowners prefer to have their home inspected before sale because this gives them the time to make necessary repairs and thus reducing the bargaining power a buyer might have. An inspection is a way of showing good faith in selling and by conducting one, you are telling the world that you want to make your home be in the very best condition before selling it. There is no general rule for disclosure and it varies depending in the state. You can ask your agent, attorney or broker to supply you a checklist that covers the requirements for your state. . Review the list in its entirety and add as many detailed notes as possible. Don’t forget to include the dates of upgrades and repairs. Fill out the form as honestly and as completely as possible. If you have questions, it is best to talk to a lawyer instead of your agent. Your agent might avoid such questions as they are out of their scope, and they want to lessen their liability.
Remember, YOU CAN GET SUED for being dishonest.
And if you are found liable, you will need to pay for repairs, legal expenses, punitive damages and in some cases, the sale can be rescinded. Make sure you are working with a trusted professional to help guide you through real estate disclosures.
Are you selling your home in College Station? If you have questions, we have answers! Fill out this form, or give our office a call now! (979) 431-1663