What is a seller obligated to disclose?

Table Of Contents

  • Do I Have to Search for Problems?
  • Should I Hire Someone to Inspect the Property?
  • Do I Need to Repair Problems I’ve Identified?
  • Are There Any Federal Laws I Need to Comply With?
  • How to Make Real Estate Disclosures
  • Get Legal Help With Real Estate Disclosures

What kind of real estate disclosures do you need to make to a buyer when trying to sell real estate? You are required to disclose any potential problems or material defects that may affect the sale price of the property. It is also illegal to conceal major defects in your property. Many states have disclosure laws that require property owners to submit written disclosures about their real estate.

What Do I Have To Do?

Property owners are only required to disclose any problems that they know about in most states. This means you don’t usually need to hire a home inspection company to inspect your property.

However, some states have more stringent requirements. These will help you to identify problems (e.g. termite damage, known leads). Some states, such as California, have very specific disclosure requirements. You should search for these laws and consult a real estate professional or lawyer. Always check the real estate laws in your state.

Do I Need To Hire Someone To Inspect The Property?

Although most states do not require inspections, it is a good idea to have someone inspect your property before you sell it. If there are problems down the road, you can often rely on the inspector’s report is claiming that you didn’t know of a problem when you made your real estate disclosures. Although inspections can sometimes be dangerous, you should disclose all information about the property to the inspector if the problem could impact its value. However, inspections can be a great way to avoid future problems.

What Do I Need To Do To Fix The Problems I Have Identified?

You don’t have to reveal them. It is possible to let someone else handle the repair and hassle. You can let someone else handle the hassle and potential costs of repair.

Do I need to comply with federal laws?

If the house you are selling was built before 1978, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires you to:

  • Buyers should be given a disclosure statement about any lead-based paint or other hazards found in the house.
  • Buyers have 10 days to inspect the house before they sign the contract.
  • Provide buyers with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pamphlet entitled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
  • In the sale contract, including legal warnings
  • All parties should sign statements confirming compliance with legal requirements.
  • As proof that you have followed the law, keep the signed acknowledgments for 3 years.

How To Make Real Estate Disclosures

Most states require you to give real estate disclosures in written form, often on special forms that both the buyer and seller must sign and date. It is best to give your disclosures in writing. Buyers should sign a written acknowledgment that they have received them, even if the state does not require it.

Finally, because of the significant amount of money involved and potential complications, it may be worthwhile to consult with a real estate broker or attorney. You should also be aware that local laws can dictate the type of disclosures you must make in real estate transactions.

Receive Professional Legal Help With Real Estate Disclosures

You should be clear about the facts and conditions when you sell a house. A legal professional can help you clarify any questions or concerns you might have about these disclosures. Find a real estate attorney near you to learn more.

This post was written by Dayana Susterman Dotoli. Dayana is the head real estate agent for the Tiffany House In Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Dayana has assisted over 150 individuals with buying, selling, and leasing at Tiffany House. The Tiffany House Residences is a 12 story tower,  offers 129 residences, including 1, 2 and 3-bedroom condominiums and townhomes, with exclusive, resort-style amenities and views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Click Here for more information.

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