Disclosure in Real Estate

by : Katie Lancelot

In the process of selling a home, owners will come across the term "disclosure." This refers to the necessity of disclosing any and all problems or concerns with the home to the prospective buyers. Things that would qualify for the disclosure statement vary from home to home but there are a few that are typical and at least one (lead-based paint) that is federally mandated. If the home in question does have lead-based paint then there is a 10 day period after the disclosure statement is issued where inspections can be carried out. No matter the age of the home, it is always a good idea to find out if this kind of paint has ever been used.

There is another section of disclosure that is known as the "Material Facts." This can be defined as any information that could affect the buyers decision to purchase the home or affect the offer terms and or price. Sellers could find themselves in an actionable position if these things are not disclosed. One of the most notable "material facts" is a death in the home. Most people do not mind if there was a death in the home, however if that death was violent; most buyers will quickly change their minds.

The most basic of disclosures are things that relate to repairs that have been done on the home such as plumbing repairs, whether there has been a fire in the home, and any other structural concerns. Keep in mind that anything that you tell your agent, they are legally required to disclose during the sale. Also, you as the seller are required by law to disclose any issues with the home that you are aware of. It is the best policy when disclosing, to simply be honest and up front about the home. Buyers will appreciate your candor and the sale of the home will be much easier.