Seller Disclosures in Real Estate

What do I need to disclose as a seller of a home.

Seller Disclosures are a Must When Selling Real Estate

When it comes to selling real estate, providing accurate and complete seller’s disclosures is essential. These disclosures inform potential buyers about any known issues with the property, enabling them to make an informed decision about their purchase. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of seller’s disclosures, the types of information that should be disclosed, and the potential consequences of non-disclosure.

Understanding Seller Disclosures

Seller’s disclosure documents are designed to protect both sellers and buyers during a real estate transaction. These documents require sellers to list any known issues with the property, including past renovations and remodeling projects. By disclosing relevant information, sellers can build trust with potential buyers and establish a transparent and fair transaction process.

What to Disclose

To ensure a smooth and lawful real estate transaction, sellers must disclose anything that can impact the property’s value or the buyer’s decision-making process. If you should find yourself wondering if you should disclose an issue, you probably should. It is wise to err on the side of caution, and taking the time to check with a professional to be sure your concern is legitimate is never a bad idea.

Some crucial items to address in the seller’s disclosures include:

Property Condition

  • Any issues with the land, such as drainage problems, bad soil quality, or flood-prone areas.
  • Foundation level and known cracks that could lead to structural damage.
  • Plumbing problems, sewer issues, and leaky pipes, as water damage can be costly to repair.
  • Problems or irregularities with heating and cooling systems.

Pest Infestations

Disclosure of any pest infestations, such as cockroaches, rats, ants, termites, or moles, is crucial to help potential buyers assess the property’s condition.

Roof and Exterior

Any known problems with the roof, such as leaks or missing shingles, should be disclosed upfront.

Health Hazards

Disclosure of lead paint is a common requirement in real estate transactions due to its potential health hazards. There are other disclosures for asbestos, meth.

Title and Ownership Issues

Sellers should inform buyers of any issues that may affect the property’s title or rightful ownership.

Repairs and Insurance Claims

Documentation of past repairs and insurance claims, along with descriptions of the work done and materials used, should be provided to potential buyers.

Hazard Zones and Violent Crimes

Some states may require disclosure of hazard zones (e.g., flood-prone or earthquake-prone areas) and any history of violent crimes committed on the property.

Timing of Seller Disclosures

Seller’s disclosures are typically provided to buyers after their offer is accepted. Buyers will review the disclosures alongside conducting their property inspection. It is crucial for sellers to be prompt and upfront with the disclosure process to avoid potential legal issues later on.

Consequences of Non-Disclosure

Failing to complete accurate and comprehensive seller disclosures can lead to serious legal ramifications. Buyers may sue sellers for breach of contract or intentional misrepresentation if undisclosed issues are discovered after the sale. Such lawsuits can result in substantial damages, including punitive measures and attorney fees. Insurance coverage may not protect sellers in these situations, making seller disclosures even more critical.

Sample Seller Disclosure Form

When you work with a Realtor they will ask you to fill out a document that is between 4 and 6 pages and covers just about anything you can think of. If the home has a pool, is in a multi-family situation, or even if it has an AC and it’s winter, they might have some extra disclosure forms. To get you started, we found a simple seller’s disclosure form from a local title company that you can take a look at.

Getting an Inspection

Ordering a professional inspection is a wise move when you are selling your home. When you are considering selling is the best time to learn just what you may be facing when it comes to disclosure by hiring an inspector. Knowing your property’s truth in advance will also give you the freedom to decide about investing time and money to resolve any issues. The inspection could reveal unknown problems and protect you from the worst-case scenario. If you want to save valuable time, be upfront with issues and allow your potential buyer to do their homework on the property, avoiding wasted time on buyers who want extensive repairs you don’t want to table. 

Keep in Mind that Most Real Estate Lawsuits Occur Because of Non-Disclosure

If you are found liable, you will need to pay for repairs, legal expenses, and punitive damages. In some cases, the sale can be rescinded. Make sure you are working with a trusted professional to help guide you through real estate disclosures.

Consider a Direct Sale

Sell to legitimate cash home buyers. The Tuckers here at kcmoHomeBuyer will buy your home as-is! Leave your worries about disclosure behind. While you still need to disclose the issues, we specialize in buying houses that come with issues. We will make a fair offer that you are in full agreement with, taking the time to walk you through how we reach our figures step by step. And, we pay cash which allows us to offer fast closings, often within a few weeks.

Our job is to help you solve your problems. Our goal is to be sure you are confident that you are making the best decision for your unique situation. Feel free to give us a call with any questions or concerns you may have about your property, with no obligation. We make it easy to sell your home in Kansas City and the surrounding metro area. Working with us means you will have a team of professionals from every walk of the real estate industry ready and waiting to jump into action. Our team, along with our vast network of industry providers, allows us to move swiftly and take care of everything for you. Just take what you want to keep with you and leave the rest to us, even the trash and clean up! Contact us to learn more.


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