When homeowners sell their property, they’re required to disclose important information about its condition, especially those that may greatly affect its value. The buyer has the right to know of any potential issues not visible, or not readily available. If a seller refuses to disclose any necessary information about their home, they could be convicted of fraud, in addition to being sued. As a seller, you surely do not want to end up in that situation.
Disclosing any current, or potential problems protects the seller too. If the buyer has full knowledge of what they’re getting into, then the seller has met their responsibility, and removes any legal liability. Let’s take a look at disclosures that every seller should present.
HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (HOA) INFORMATION
If there is a HOA, let the buyer know. There are 3 important reasons to disclose about the HOA.
- The buyer, who will be the new homeowner, needs to know the HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions they will need to follow, once they take possession of the home.
- The buyer needs to know when, where and how much they need to pay every month in HOA fees. They’ll need to know what the fees cover too.
- The buyer needs to know if the HOA is financially stable, or is there a good chance there will be a large increase in HOA dues after the buyer takes possession.
Your standing with the organization should also be disclosed. If your property isn’t in compliance with the HOA, your buyer deserves to know, especially if it’s going to cost them down the line.
If your home is at risk of any potential environmental contamination, you definitely need to disclose this to your buyer. For example, the presence of hazardous mold, or if there is toxic waste near the vicinity of the property needs to be disclosed.
LEAD BASED PAINT
While most agreements are governed by state law, all of them share a commonality wherein the federal government states that sellers are required to disclose if they have knowledge of any lead-based paint in the house. In particular, in homes constructed before 1978.
It’s important to inform your buyers of any recently completed repairs and renovations, so they can have those items inspected, to make sure they were completed correctly. Also let them know if it’s a recurring problem. This also lets your buyers know in advance of any potential future issues they should be aware of.
Any changes to the structural integrity of the home, such as roof repairs, settling fault lines, additions, or deconstruction of walls in order to expand the living space should be mentioned. You might need to add any electrical or plumbing repairs that were done during your stay as well.
Any noise, odor or smog, whether from commercial or industrial sources outside of the property should be disclosed to your buyer. In Michigan, sellers are required to disclose farms, farm operations, landfills, airports, shooting ranges and other similar nuisances within the vicinity of the neighborhood.
Water seeping into a basement, from the roof, or other area could affect personal possessions, or worse, cause structural damage to the property. Water damage left unaddressed can also present health hazards. Any past or present leaks should be disclosed by the seller. Plumbing problems should be shared, as well.
Water damage can pose a risk regardless of the season. For example, a roof that leaks, or has very old shingles, may go unnoticed by a buyer’s home inspector during the winter, when the roof is snow covered. During the summer, warmer weather, and lack of rain can hide seeping water problems.
There is a Seller Disclosures form, usually a 2 page report, that is required to be completed by the seller, and provided to the buyer. It lists several of the items mentioned above, and more. Its purpose is for the seller to provide their knowledge of any known problems with anything in the house, past, or present.
There are some disclosures that aren’t necessarily required unless a situation begs for it.
If the home is located in a historic district, the buyer would want to know, as there will be restrictions on any renovations they may want to perform.
You might need to add any history of pest infestation. Termites and other wood-destroying insects can cause a lot of damage. Even if resolved, the buyer may like to know in case the problem returns.
There are buyers out there who may have major concerns or superstitions about a home where someone has died. Depending on the nature or cause of death, you may want to disclose it to the buyer. If the death is related to the property’s condition or violent crime, your buyer should be made aware of it.
Dealing with disclosures can be a challenge. You may be torn between what you’re obligated to disclose, and what should be obvious, and the buyer’s responsibility to ask. That’s why it’s best to work with the right professionals to make sure you are providing all the necessary disclosures. Our team of professionals at SellUsHomes can help you sell your Detroit, or Southeast Michigan house. We purchase homes in As Is condition. To learn more about our services, contact us at (734) 224-5947, or reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.