Real estate disclosures come with many questions for both the buyer and the seller.
We recommend you be as honest and open as you possibly can.
Covering Up Problems Can Cause More Damage (financially).
Being honest will help you avoid a lawsuit and also make you a trustworthy, stand-up, all-around person. What’s so bad about that? Hiding defects, looming repairs, and any other issues within the property will come back to bite you in the long run.
In our latest post, we will uncover what you need to disclose by law in Miami.
Most real estate lawsuits occur because of non-disclosure.
So exactly how much are you required to disclose legally?
Basically, anything that may affect the value of the property. Here are just a few of the things you should address:
Issues with the Land
Drainage, bad soil, and potential for flooding, to name a few, are problems that land can suffer from. Bad soil can limit building potential, and low-lying areas tend to flood and lead to water damage.
Foundation level and known cracks must be disclosed. If the house settles more than it already has, it could experience structural damage.
Issues with sewage and leaky pipes need to be brought up from the get-go. Water damage can be the cause of costly home repairs.
Any problems or irregularities with the heating and cooling systems should be addressed beforehand.
Roof and Gutters
Have a leaky roof or missing shingles? Tell your buyer before they find out during a rainstorm.
If you have a problem with cockroaches, rats, ants, termites, or moles, you will need to inform your potential buyer.
Lead paint is a no-brainer. This is one of the most common disclosed issues you will see with home sales and rentals.
Are there issues that will affect the title? Or rightful ownership? This one, in particular, needs to be spelled out upfront and definitely not during the closing process.
You should also have any documentation for repairs and insurance claims you’ve made in the past to hand. If asked, you should be able to describe what work was carried out, including what materials were used.
In addition to the above, some states will require an even more in-depth disclosure of hazard zones such as flooding, earthquakes, and other environmental factors affecting the land. On top of this, some states go as far as asking sellers to disclose whether any violent crime has been committed in the property. Not every state requires this, but it is a good rule of thumb to follow. If you’re not sure where to begin, just think about the sort of concerns you would have if you were buying a home for yourself!
Disclosures help a buyer learn as much as possible about a house before making their purchase.
You are selling a great home, right? You’re not aware of any minor but necessary repairs that (if left ignored) could escalate into a much bigger problem?
Many properties have something come up unexpectedly during the inspection that the seller wasn’t prepared for. Just imagine your asking price getting slashed because of a defect you hadn’t yet uncovered. Doesn’t sound fun, right?
As a precaution, a lot of sellers decide to have their home inspected before a sale. This allows them to make any necessary repairs ahead of time, lessening the buyer’s justification for offering less. An inspection upfront will also show that you – the seller – have confidence in the property and that you are willing to fix any issues that arise. You’re telling the world that you want your home to be in tip-top condition before it’s sold.
Disclosure rules vary from state to state. Your agent, attorney, or broker will be able to supply you with a checklist that covers the requirements unique to your state. Make sure you review the list in its entirety, detailing anything that you think might be important or an issue. Don’t forget to include the dates of any upgrades and repairs that were carried out.
Fill out the form as honestly and as completely as possible. If you have questions, it’s best to talk to a lawyer instead of your agent. Your agent might be tempted to avoid such questions since they’re beyond their scope, and they’ll also want to lessen their liability.
Remember, YOU CAN GET SUED for being dishonest.
Real Estate Disclosures are no joke. If you’re found liable, you’ll 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 who can help guide you through the ins and outs of real estate disclosures.