It’s a common question when you go to sell your residential home, “What do I, as the seller, have to disclose about this property?” Do you have to disclose everything even if it could potentially cost you the sale of the home? A good rule of this thumb is if you’re not sure, then you probably should. In addition, there is more potential harm, both legally and financially, in not disclosing something to the buyer. Here’s a list of what you legally need to include in your sellers’ disclosure to keep things on the up and up…
When it comes to being upfront with potential buyers, one of the most obvious is the use of lead-based paint in your home. Lead paint was used in many homes built prior to 1978. Check state laws regarding how this applies to the sale of your home. Whether or not the lead paint has since been removed, this issue must be disclosed to the buyer. If you are not aware of a lead-based paint being used in the home, then you are not required by law to investigate further.
Something else that may also affect a buyer’s decision to purchase a home is whether or not a violent crime, murder, or suicide has occurred in the home. Depending on your location, you may be required to disclose what some refer to as “emotional defects” about a home.
It’s pretty obvious, but most states require sellers to disclose any type of pest infestation – mice, bats, snakes, or bedbugs. A buyer will discover the issue sooner than later so better to be upfront about the situation and not appear sneaky by attempting to hide it.
Property Drainage Issues
If you are prone to water in the basement or any type of drainage issue, you are required to disclose it in the seller’s statement. Even if you think a major issue such as this has been
resolved, it is still better to disclose it now to avoid a potential lawsuit in the future.
Boundary Issues or Neighbor Disputes
It may seem insignificant, but if you’re talking property lines and neighbors, a small dispute could quickly turn into a big deal. A fence being on the wrong side of a boundary can have big impact for a new owner down the road. To avoid a major blowout, be upfront from the get-go about the neighbors and the defined property lines.
Paranormal Activity (In Some States)
So you think you see dead people roaming the halls, huh? It may sound extreme but you need to disclose the fact that your house is haunted to the buyer. If you’ve had an exorcism performed, this should be disclosed as well. Rules on this vary from state to state so you might want to check the statute in your state to determine if any paranormal activity must be included in a disclosure statement.
When you’re prepping to sell your home, come prepared with all pertinent information for potential buyers. Disclose all the things you’d want to know about a new home. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to the seller’s disclosure statement. You’ll benefit in the end. Tom Reese can help you know exactly what you will need to disclose in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
Tom Reese has 20+ years experience in helping his clients sell their homes for a price that sells and makes them a profit. Tom has helped his clients buy and sell property in every neighborhood in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.
About Tom Reese
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