A disclosure is an important document for both the sellers and the buyers. It informs the buyers of any material defects with the home as well as any additional information they need to know. And, it protects the sellers from legal liability during & after the home sale.
Here’s what you need to know about sellers’ disclosures.
What is a seller’s disclosure?
The basis of most state disclosure documents is the same. It includes a series of questions about the condition of the property. This includes things like the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems.
Some states may require you to disclose problems with the land, like low spots that flood with rain. And, some states may require you to disclose what may seem like random, specific details. For example, in Washington, you must whether or not the property is near a farm.
Why does it matter?
Buyers need to be aware of what they’re getting into with a house. If a buyer knows there’s a leak in the roof when it rains, they know how to proceed in order to fix the problem and prevent further damage. If they are unaware of a pre-existing roof leak and then it causes further (or major) damage, it can be a potential liability for the seller.
What do I have to disclose?
Every state has different disclosure laws, but the core of them is similar. If you want to dive into the legal code for your state, you can check out the disclosure laws for all 50 states.
You can find the Seller’s Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure for Indiana here. Here are some very common seller’s disclosures to be aware of (whether you’re on the buyer’s side or the seller’s side).
Death in the home
Buyers may have concerns or superstitions about purchasing a home in which someone has died. Each state will have different rules about this disclosure. But, a seller is required to disclose deaths related to the condition of the property or violent crimes.
There are no states that require sellers to disclose the death of a person who has deceased under natural conditions. Even so, sellers may want to err on the side of courtesy and inform potential buyers.
Noises or odors from outside the property that could irritate future occupants may need to be disclosed. For example, in North Carolina, you must disclose noises, odors, smoke, or other nuisances from commercial, industrial, or military sources that affect the property. Make sure to check on the requirements for your state.
If the property is at an increased risk of damage from a natural disaster or potential environmental contamination, you may be required to disclose this.
The presence of hazardous or toxic waste, asbestos, urea-formaldehyde insulation, or lead-based paint are all examples of this. Some states may also require disclosure of mine subsidence, underground pits, settlement, sliding, upheaval, or other Earth-stability defects.
Home Owners Association (HOA) Information
If the property is governed by a homeowner’s association, you should disclose that. Since these associations generally impose monthly fees on homeowners, potential buyers need to know of the potential extra monthly costs.
Learn more about sellers’ disclosures in this guide.
Enlist the help of an agent
Enlist the help of a real estate agent to guide you through the process and make sure that you are in the best position possible.
Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!