Do you want to take advantage of the hot housing market by listing your home? If so, you’ll need to disclose certain things about the house. In fact, you may want to consider disclosures before listing, so you know what you’re getting into.
- Disclosure Statement
One of the first forms you’ll sign when listing your home is a disclosure statement. Despite the fact most homebuyers hire a home inspector after putting in a successful offer, a disclosure statement provides information beyond what an inspector may find.
- Secret Insights
After living in your home, you have undoubtedly accrued insight that’s unique to you, as a homeowner. State and federal regulations require you to share this type of information with potential buyers.
Definition of a Disclosure Statement
A document that a home seller completes and provides to the buyer. Most states provide special forms for the seller to complete, sign, and date. The seller uses the disclosure to reveal the property’s material defects. This includes anything:
- Does not properly work
Material defects sometimes impact the value of the property. What’s more, they could present an unreasonable risk to people on the property. Therefore, if a seller fails to disclose or conceals a known defect, they run the risk of facing a lawsuit for damages.
What to Include in the Disclosure Statement
The information required in a disclosure statement varies from state to state. Speak to your real estate agent about the items you must include before starting your disclosure statement.
What to Disclose
Death in the Home
Some people feel uneasy living in a home where someone has died. So, if someone passed away in the house you are trying to sell, you may need to disclose the death on the disclosure form. Some states require you to include how they died. In California, where SoCal Platinum Properties, Inc. is located, sellers must tell the buyer if a death in the home has occurred anytime in the past three years. This includes death by most natural causes (certain types of deaths, like those from AIDS, need not be disclosed).
Is the home in an area prone to floods, earthquakes, wildfires, or any other natural disasters? If so, you should inform potential buyers so they can secure proper insurance and make other plans. Also, tell buyers about toxic material such as asbestos, radon, or mold located on the property.
If the home is in a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), include this in the disclosure statement. HOAs typically require monthly fees. They also sometimes impose rules that buyers do not agree with. Homes built prior to 1978 must include information about lead paint in disclosure statements. Since this is a federal law, it applies to every state. If the home you are selling was constructed before 1978, you are required by law to disclose this, even if you believe the paint is no longer in the home. If you are unaware of lead paint in the home, you are required to disclose it but not to investigate.
When it comes to lead paint, you must disclose the previous presence of it, even if the house no longer contains the substance.
Have there been any disputes between neighbors? You may have to disclose arguments, ranging from property boundaries to pruning trees. These are important to include in a disclosure statement. You may also need to disclose issues such as loud noises, bad smells, or other nuisances. Disclose these whether they come from residential neighbors, or commercial or industrial properties located nearby.
Most states require sellers to disclose infestation. This could include termites, mice, bats, bedbugs, or snakes. Termites damage homes. So, if you have treated your home for termite damage, include that treatment in the disclosure. Also, include receipts!
If you made any repairs to the home, you may need to disclose the repairs. You should also include repairs the previous owners made (about which you are aware). Providing a history of repairs gives the buyer peace of mind and alerts their home inspector to pay attention to potential problem areas.
Water damages homes. For example, it can undermine the structure and lead to mold growth. Disclose past or present leaks or other water damage. Also, if the basement floods, you will need to note that on a disclosure statement.
List With Us
At SoCal Platinum Properties, we offer unique perks to clients who list their home to sell with us. One benefit that we provide, which most other realtors do not, is that we will pay for and arrange to have a home inspection before we put your home on the market. The reason we do this is because we want to eliminate potential potholes down the road, when prospective buyers could use items the home inspector uncovers as an excuse to pay less than they bid. What’s more, resolving minor repairs on the front end often means you can ask more for your home rather than selling it “as is.” To find out more about how to take advantage of this perk and list your home with SoCal Platinum Properties, call (213) 709-5178 today or compete this contact form.