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Sellers disclosure to home buyers

What has to be disclosed when selling a house?  Do I have to disclose a past problem with my house if it’s been repaired?  What does the law say about seller’s disclosure? All these questions and more often plague homeowners. Sellers often encounter this conflict of how to be honest and responsible with buyers and yet not scare them away. In reality, most house owners had to take care of a minor or major repair, so the truth is you’re not alone in the dilemma to disclose what may not be the most appealing news to potential buyers.Typical disclosures include: water damage, cracks in the foundation, leaks in the roof, issues with any appliances, repairs or renovations.

 

However whether you are required to disclose your leak and the work you had done in your home, be aware that buyers may be able to find out about the repair whether or not you tell them.There are benefits and demerit of full disclosure. These benefits include:

 

Honesty

Some buyers might prefer negotiating with sellers who have proven they are honest with information about their home.

 

Reduce future dispute

Your disclosure can protect you from future disputes with the buyers since they will know about the repair before settlement. If you hide the repair work and the buyers later have an issue with moisture or another leak, then the buyers could have a conflict with the seller.

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There is also one major demerit of full disclosure which is

No deal

Some buyers may worry about future repairs and decide not to buy your home.

In reality, disclosure laws vary from state to state, and even from county to county or city to city.  Imagine you have repaired severe foundational issues, this is something that a buyer would want to know about. It is wise to disclose this major repair. However, if the defect was something quite minor and is completely settled, such as a leak under the sink that a plumber repaired, it is most likely not something that needs to be disclosed.

The effective way to make a decision about what to tell prospective buyers about your home is to consult with an experienced realtor or lawyer who can evaluate your individual situation and guide you. In contrast, sellers want to reduce negative disclosures that may affect their chances to sell the property for maximum profit while buyers want to know exactly what they are buying, estimate potential repair expenses and negotiate the purchase price accordingly.

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