When it comes to real estate disclosures, it’s always best to be as open and honest as possible. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it’s also an important ethical consideration that can help you build trust with potential buyers and avoid potential legal issues down the line.
Some of the key items that you are required to disclose by law include any known defects in the property, such as leaky roofs, foundation issues, or other structural problems. You must also disclose any known hazards or environmental issues, such as lead paint, asbestos, or mold. Other potential disclosure items may include issues with the property’s electrical or plumbing systems, past repairs or renovations, and any zoning or land-use restrictions that may impact the property.
By providing complete and accurate information about the property, you can help ensure that potential buyers are fully informed and can make an informed decision about whether to purchase the property. This can help you avoid potential lawsuits or other legal issues down the line, while also helping to build trust and goodwill with potential buyers. Working with an experienced real estate agent or professional buyer, like I Buy SW MI, can also help ensure that you understand your legal obligations and can provide the necessary disclosures to potential buyers.
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:
- Issues with the land, such as drainage, bad soil, and potential for flooding. Bad soil can limit building and low-lying areas can be prone to flooding and water damage.
- Foundation level and known cracks must be disclosed. If the house settles more than it already has, it could experience structural damage.
- Plumbing problems, sewer issues, and leaky pipes all need to be brought to the forefront. Some of the most expensive home repairs stem from water damage.
- Any problems or irregularities with the heating and cooling systems should be addressed.
- If you have a problem with cockroaches, rats, ants, termites or moles, you will need to inform your potential buyer.
- Have a leaky roof or missing shingles? Tell your buyer before they find out during a rainstorm.
- Lead paint is a no-brainer. This disclosure is one of the most common you will see with home sales and rentals.
- Are there issues that will affect the title? Or rightful ownership? This needs to be spelled out up front, not during the closing process.
- 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.
Additionally, some states will require more in-depth disclosure of hazard zones which include flooding, earthquakes and other environmental factors affecting the land. Some states will also require any violent crimes committed in the home be common knowledge. 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.
When selling a home, it’s important to ensure that it’s in the best possible condition and that any necessary repairs or upgrades have been addressed. To avoid potential issues during the sale process, many sellers choose to have their home inspected prior to listing it for sale. This allows them to identify any potential problems or defects and make the necessary repairs ahead of time, which can help to reduce the potential buyer’s bargaining power and avoid any unexpected surprises during the sale process.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the disclosure rules in your state and to provide a complete and accurate checklist of all necessary information about the property. This should include details on any upgrades or repairs made to the property, as well as any potential defects or issues that the buyer should be aware of. It’s important to be as honest and thorough as possible when filling out these forms, as failing to disclose relevant information can lead to legal issues down the line. If you have questions about what information to include or how to fill out the disclosure forms, it’s recommended to speak with a lawyer rather than relying solely on your real estate agent. This can help ensure that you fully understand your legal obligations and minimize any potential liability issues.
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.