Home Owners: Disclose the Facts!
by Sameer S Panjwani
One of the most common causes for disputes occurring after
the sale of a home arise from the buyer finding defects
in the property, defects which were not disclosed to him
by the owner before the sale of the property. If you are
the owner of a home that you are looking to sell, please
be aware that you may be held liable for not disclosing
any known defects in your home.
The statutes governing seller obligations vary with each
state. Some states require a seller to complete a questionnaire
about their property's condition; in other states, disclosures
can be made verbally. In some states, seller disclosures
are voluntary. The only sellers excluded from disclosure
laws are banks and mortgage companies with foreclosure
properties. In addition to the state laws, there are certain
federal laws as well which govern what needs to be disclosed.
For instance, federal law requires sellers of homes built
before 1978 to disclose any known lead hazards. Some real
estate companies may also ask you to disclose all known
material facts about your home before they decide to take
up your home listing.
Some facts may affect one buyer while it may not affect
the other. If youre confused about what you need
to disclose, then consult your real estate agent or property
attorney. To keep it simple, as an owner you should put
yourself in the shoes of the buyer and decide what you
would need to know about the house before you decided
to make the purchase. If you have to make the sale, make
sure it goes through smoothly. There have been many instances
of lawsuits arising from owners not disclosing important
material facts about their home.
About the Author
Sameer S Panjwani is the CEO and Founder of ChoiceOfHomes.com
- Real estate listings of homes on sale and rent.