August 24, 2022 • Selling
What’s the Deal with Disclosures?
By Kate Barker
When selling your home, you want to make it look its best. A fresh coat of paint, some specific staging, and removing your personal items all make the house inviting to potential buyers. While the staging process is a great way to highlight the features of your home, you want to make sure you’re not covering anything up. This is where disclosures come into play.
When selling your home, you must disclose any defects, past or present, to potential buyers so they can make a decision based on the facts of the home. Disclosure statements can include things like drafty windows or a new development happening nearby, but they also include latent defects, which are home deficiencies that cannot be detected by any reasonable means.
Latent defects could include electrical problems that are hidden within the walls, faulty plumbing that leaves no visible mark, or a leaking roof that only appears in the spring. Other defects like mould, asbestos, lead-based paint, and structural problems also need to be disclosed. These issues might be missed by a standard home inspection, but they could present a future problem for whoever is living in the home.
Sellers are also expected to disclose the history of the home previous to their ownership. Has there been fire damage in the home? Has it ever flooded? Has it undergone any major renovations? Disclosing all these details will allow the buyer to make an informed decision, and it could prevent a lawsuit further down the road if any surprising deficiencies are found.
When in doubt, talk to your real estate agent about home disclosures, and what kind of documentation is needed. The right agent will help you navigate this process and make sure you’re making an honest sale.