Home Owners: Disclose the facts!
By Sameer S Panjwani
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
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.
facts may affect one buyer while it may not affect the other.
If you’re 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.