Whether you’ve lived in your home for a few years or a few decades, you know all about its quirks, its best features, and its flaws. When you decide to sell your home, some of this information might be necessary for you to share with buyers in the form of a seller disclosure. 

Including certain flaws in this document can feel uncomfortable; however, it’s best to be open and honest during the process. Failing to disclose certain issues could land you in legal trouble or, at the very least, create significant hurdles for your home sale. 

This is especially true since buyers will find out through a home inspection, anyway, if any problems (major or minor) are present in your home. Alternatively, if a problem does manage to escape their notice, but they ultimately discover it after closing, you could be subject to a lawsuit if they believe you intentionally hid the issue during your deal. 

While different states have different laws about what you must disclose, federal laws do make it necessary for sellers across the nation to be forthcoming about one hazard in particular: lead paint. 

“Failing to disclose certain issues could land you in legal trouble or, at the very least, create significant hurdles for your home sale.”

If your home was built in or before 1978, you are legally responsible for ordering an inspection to check for lead paint. You are also required to issue the results of this inspection to the buyer in the form of a seller disclosure document. 

As for what disclosure requirements you might be subject to in your specific area, these regulations change too rapidly for us to list any specifics here. Instead, we recommend that you speak to your agent directly about current local regulations. 

In general, though, problems that sellers should disclose regardless of local regulations include water damage, mold, pests, or any other major structural, mechanical, or safety-related issues. Buyers will also likely ask to see evidence that these problems have been resolved, so save all applicable receipts and paperwork from applicable repairs or insurance claims you’ve made. 

Some states even require sellers to disclose any risk of natural hazards like wildfires, earthquakes, or flooding, if these are common to the area. So, again, check with your Realtor to see how you should proceed when it comes time to make your own disclosures.

If you have any other questions, would like more information, or would like to discuss your real estate goals, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.