Part of the requirements when selling a home is to disclose info about the property that you are aware of to a potential buyer. While a seller may be tempted to withhold information in fear of losing the sale, they could pay for it later. If there are known issues with lead paint, termites, plumbing, or the foundation that are not disclosed, the buyer could potentially sue the seller to pay for the repairs. That's why you are always better off disclosing issues right away. Here are three mistakes that can be made.
Not Disclosing Latent Defects
It's not expected that you disclose every single thing about your home, especially when it comes to cosmetic damages. If a buyer can see it, you shouldn't have to tell them that something is wrong with the home. However, you need to disclose latent defects with the home. Those are the defects that are not obvious to the buyer. For instance, this could include a known issue with the foundation. Keep in mind that some cosmetic damage can actually be an indication of latent defects, such as a ceiling water stain that is an indication of a water leak from the roof. The bottom line is that you must disclose these latent defects if you are aware of them.
Forgetting Any Previous Disclosures
When you purchased the home, you may have been given disclosures about certain things in the home. This could include being told that a basement was renovated without the proper permits, or that there is lead paint in the home. You must pass along these disclosures to the seller unless you have fixed the problem yourself, even if they were not a huge concern to you at the time.
Not Filing the Proper Paperwork
Your agent will should assist you with filling out all paperwork regarding disclosures. There will be a form that has 19 questions related to your home's condition, where you can state if you are aware of a potential problem with the aspect listed. Saying you are aware of a problem does not make you responsible for fixing it. Acknowledging the problem actually prevents the buyer from taking you to court for not disclosing it.
For more info about disclosures, speak to your agent. He or she can help remind you of the common items that are disclosed so you can be prepared to tell buyers about them.