Everything You Need to Know About Disclosures

Mar 09, 2017

For a home sale to truly be successful, there needs to be a certain level of trust between the buyer and the seller. That level of trust requires both parties to be transparent in their dealings. The seller in particular has to be held to a higher standard when it comes to honesty, as the buyer is entrusting the homeowner to inform him of any concerns there may be before the sale is closed. To ensure this, sellers are required to produce formal disclosures about certain matters prior to closing.

Why Make a Disclosure?

Disclosures aren’t only important for the buyer. The seller benefits from a disclosure by protecting himself from a lawsuit if the future homeowner encounters a major issue after moving in. In fact, there are several things that a seller is legally required to disclose. These include:

-If environmental hazards are present in the home, like asbestos, lead, mold, and more.

-If there are any pests or infestations, particularly those which may cause damage to the house, such as termites.

-If the buyer will have to abide by home or condo association rules.

-If the home has been involved in boundary disputes between surrounding neighbors.

-If the property has ongoing issues that may prove costly or dangerous to the new owner, such as with plumbing, wiring, the roof, and HVAC.

-If the home is actively involved in a court proceeding.

In some states, these requirements are even more in-depth. Some states require that prospective buyers be informed if a murder or violent crime occurred in the residence, and others even mandate that paranormal activity be disclosed. In order to be fully informed about which aspects of a home may need to be reported, the help of an experienced South Florida real estate professional is essential.

How to Formally Disclose

Disclosing items of concern to prospective buyers is as simple as filling out a form. One can also inform the potential new homeowner of issues verbally, but doing so should be in addition to completing the form as to ensure a paper trail is created. When filing the disclosure, a seller is understandably not expected to notify buyers of unforeseeable problems that may come up after closing. One is only required to report the potential issues he or she is aware of at the time of disclosure.

If you have questions about selling South Florida real estate, our team is just a call away. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your home’s sale.