Nobody knows your home like you do, no matter how long you’ve lived in it. There may be issues with your home that you’ve opted to live with rather than repair or upgrade so they may not initially stand out as something you need to disclose. But think long and hard because state and federal regulations require you to disclose known facts about your property’s condition.
Smart buyers will have a home inspection done and have their offer contingent on the home passing it. In some states, home inspections are mandatory for those applying for a mortgage. In other states, it’s up to the buyer to protect their investment by ordering a own home inspection on their own.
State Disclosure Rules
Realtor’s keep up-to-date on disclosure requirements for your area and will share this information with you. State regulations vary and will periodically change. Some states provide forms for sellers to fill out, disclosing information about their home and asking about specific things such as lead paint, asbestos, and flooding. There may also be a disclaimer form used indicating that the seller doesn’t have information about any issues with the home.
Federal Disclosure Rules
When it comes to lead paint, federal laws apply. Homes built prior to 1978 may contain lead paint. Homes must be inspected for lead paint and a disclosure form completed unless your home was built after 1978.
States vary on what they expect a home seller to disclose about their property. Things such as being located in a potential flood zone, earthquakes, prospective zoning changes and any contamination are common items to disclose. Anything about the home that could hurt the resale of the property, such as a crime or untimely death, needs to be shared with the potential buyer. Failure to properly disclose reportable information could result in a future lawsuit.
When it Comes to Disclosure, Be Proactive
Many issues about your home worth disclosing will come up in a property inspection. It will fare better in your favor if you’ve already disclosed these things ahead of the property inspector. Issues that come up in the inspection will need to be addressed by both the buyer and the seller. While the ultimate decision on how to handle these matters rests with the seller, it is a negotiating tool that the buyer can in some cases use to have the asking price lowered.
If you want to be sure there aren’t any hidden issues with your home that could stall the selling process, as the seller, you can order your own home inspection before ever putting the property on the market. That way you’re on top of any issues you need to disclose as well as any repairs or upgrades that may be needed.
When you’re ready to list your home, give Remax at the Beach a call at 910-842-8686 and we’ll set up a time to meet with you.