When you are preparing to sell your home, one of the things you have to do is provide a seller’s disclosure. In this disclosure, you are obligated to disclose known defects and other issues with your property. You should disclose anything that you are aware of that may affect the value of the property or create a hazard on the property, such as knowledge of mold, a leaking roof or basement or damage to the foundation wall.
In your disclosure, the main items to include are material or mechanical defects. You’ll potentially want to include psychological defects, too, such as information about someone who was killed or who died in the home.
Material defects must be disclosed when you’re aware of them
You do need to disclose material defects whenever you know about them. In the seller’s disclosure, you’ll go over different parts of the home, such as the:
- Plumbing system
- HVAC systems
- Major appliances
- Structural elements
You will also want to disclose information about termites, mold, water damage or other hazards that may be present.
It is expected that you will disclose all issues that you’re aware of. It’s reasonable that you may not be aware of all potential defects, and in that case, you don’t need to disclose them. For example, if you know that there is black mold in your crawlspace, you should disclose it. If you don’t know that you have black mold behind drywall, then there is no way you could know to disclose it.
Your disclosure isn’t an inspection
Remember that your seller’s disclosure isn’t the same as an inspection. It’s the buyer’s choice and obligation to get an inspection of your property. If they don’t and there were hidden issues that you, as a seller, didn’t know about, then they may not be able to come back and pursue a claim against you later.
In the real estate market, a seller’s disclosure gives buyers at least some basic information about a property. You must create a disclosure and be as honest as you can when you fill it out. Failing to do this could lead to legal issues later or hinder the sale of a property.