The real estate process can be a confusing one, especially when it comes to the complicated legalities that are involved. It’s always a good idea to be open and honest with others. Here we will cover the various real estate disclosures required in order to properly sell a property.
Being an open and honest seller will not only help you avoid a lawsuit, but it also makes for the most trustworthy person all-around. You may be able to hide your defects and looming repairs for a little while, but in the end you are only going to come back worse than before. As they say: what goes around, comes around.
Most Real Estate Lawsuits Are Based Off Non-Disclosure
So exactly how much are you required to disclose legally? Basically, anything that can affect the value of your property. These items could include, but are not limited to:
- Issues with the land, such as drainage, bad soil, and being in a flood zone.
- Foundation level and known cracks.
- Plumbing problems, sewer issues, and leaky pipes.
- Any problems or irregularities with the heating and cooling systems.
- Pest infestations; cockroaches, rats, ants, termites.
- Roof damage such as missing shingles or leaks.
- Lead paint.
- Issues with the title.
- Be prepared to provide documentation on repairs and insurance claims made in the past.
Additionally, some states will require more in-depth disclosure of hazard zones which include flooding and earthquakes. It is also possible that you will need to disclose any violent crimes committed in the home. This isn’t universally required, but it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind. Just put yourself in the buyers shoes and think about what you would want to know before moving into a new home.
Real Estate Disclosures Help Buyers Make Their Decision
You are selling a great home right? When you keep something to yourself, the minor yet needed repair can snowball into much bigger problems. It’s not uncommon for properties to have something pop up on the inspection that sellers weren’t prepared for. And now you’re being forced to slash your asking price because of this defect.
A house is a living, breathing machine. Some sellers choose to have their home inspected before listing it on the market so they know what’s up with all those nooks and crannies. This way, they can make necessary repairs ahead of time and lessen potential buyers’ bargaining ability. Your inspection will show that you are a person who truly cares about the property. You are telling the world you want your home to be in a pristine condition before it is sold.
Disclosure rules vary state to state. Your agent, attorney or broker will be able to supply you with a checklist that covers the requirements for your particular jurisdiction. Review the list in its entirety and add as many detailed notes as you need. Make sure you include any dates of upgrades or repairs during your ownership of the property. It’s always important to be honest and complete when filling out any form, especially one related with real estate. If you have questions about your rights or responsibilities as a buyer/seller in today’s market then speak openly with an experienced real estate attorney. Agents may not be fully versed on the complexities of the law, and they also want to mitigate their liability.
It’s Best To Be Honest
If you are found liable, the consequences can be severe. You will need to pay for repairs and legal expenses or even sale rescinded. Working with a professional to guide you through the different real estate disclosures can be helpful.
Are you looking to sell your home? Our team has all of the answers and we’d love for you to give us a call now! (407) 228-3682.