Three important things to disclose before your home is sold.

When it comes to selling your house, navigating the disclosure process is crucial to avoid potential legal issues and ensure a smooth transaction with the buyer. As a real estate professional working closely with sellers, I often encounter common questions about what sellers are required to disclose to the next buyer. Let’s delve into three main points that every seller should be mindful of during this process.

1. HOA and documentation. One significant aspect that sellers need to disclose pertains to any age or association with the property, especially in community living situations like townhouses, condos, or planned unit developments. It’s imperative to inform the next buyer about all documentation related to CCAR (Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions) or community rules and regulations. Details such as HRA fees and parking restrictions should be clearly communicated to prevent buyer frustration and potential legal consequences. Providing contact information for property management ensures that the buyer can seek clarifications, fostering a transparent and positive experience.

“The goal is to add transparency to the transaction.”

2. Structural changes. Sellers must disclose any significant structural modifications or improvements made to the property. While cosmetic changes like repainting or re-carpeting may not require disclosure, substantial alterations such as wall movements, additions, or modifications to the sewer line fall under this category. To streamline this process, sellers typically fill out a detailed form spanning six pages, outlining structural changes. Disclosing these significant modifications in writing allows the buyer to conduct thorough inspections, reducing the risk of post-sale disputes. When in doubt, it’s advisable for sellers to err on the side of disclosure, promoting trust and transparency.

3. Federal documentation requirements. Sellers must adhere to federal laws concerning specific documentation, with a prominent example being the disclosure of lead-based paint. If the property was built before 1978, sellers must provide the buyer with a lead-based paint addendum, disclosing any knowledge or testing related to lead-based paint. It’s essential to communicate this information during the disclosure process, even if testing hasn’t been conducted. This federal law ensures buyers are aware of potential health hazards associated with lead-based paint, reinforcing the importance of comprehensive disclosure practices.

Proper disclosure is paramount when selling a home to avoid legal complications and disputes after the sale. Sellers can build trust with buyers and facilitate a seamless transaction by being transparent about association details, structural changes, and federal documentation requirements. If you’re unsure what to disclose or have questions about selling your house, don’t hesitate to call me or send me an email. I’m here to guide you through the process and ensure a successful home sale.