You should always disclose these nine things to potential homebuyers.
As you’re probably well aware, we’re in an incredibly hot seller’s market. Buyers are waiving things like inspections and appraisals in order to make their offers more attractive, but that doesn’t mean sellers can take advantage.
Sellers still need to file the proper disclosures when listing their home, and here’s a simple example to illustrate why: It’s like adopting a dog that is afraid of car rides, but the shelter doesn’t tell you this. You try to take the dog home but it becomes incredibly upset; you go back into the shelter and ask what’s going on, and they finally tell you the dog has a massive fear of cars.
If you’d known the dog was afraid of car rides, you may have acted differently. You may not have adopted it if your life involves a lot of trips, or you may have gone ahead with the adoption knowing you’d need to make accommodations. It’s the same idea with real estate; if you know there’s a crack in your foundation or the roof leaks, the buyer needs to know. If they are aware of your home’s issues, it also lightens your legal liability.
With that in mind, here are nine essential property issues you should disclose to buyers:
1. Specific knowledge about the home’s condition or value: This includes issues like water leaks in winter, unpermitted additions, or a highway being built in the area.
2. Additional features and utilities: For example, you don’t want buyers to think your home uses public water when it actually uses a private well and septic system.
3. Significant defects: This includes issues with foundations, windows, and any other home system that affects livability.
“Buyers are waiving things like inspections and appraisals in order to make their offers more attractive, but that doesn’t mean sellers can take advantage.”
4. Hazardous materials or conditions: This may include aluminum wiring or lead-based paint.
5. Any deaths on the property: You may think it’s something people wouldn’t worry about, but it’s actually a huge deal for buyers.
6. Disputes with neighbors or local municipalities: Disclose any period judgments, liens, or easements.
7. Nearby noises or nuances: This includes trains, busy intersections, airports, school drop-off zones, industrial areas, and similar locations.
8. Local organizations with control over your property: The most common example of this is a homeowners association, or HOA.
9. Anything about the property you’re unsure of: If you’re not sure about whether something is big enough to disclose, disclose it anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any questions about disclosures or would like to talk about buying or selling a home, feel free to reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.