Information Seller must disclose when selling a house
by Patricia Johnson
When you sell your home it is required by law to disclose anything that you are aware of that is wrong with the home. You will need to check the laws in the state you are selling your home because each state differs. The reason for these disclosures is that once the potential buyer knows about these defects or problems it may affect their decision to purchase the home or not. There must be a document listing all the pre-existing problems, dated, and signed by both the seller and buyer. In addition, of there is anything that could be potentially harmful to the buyer or to the home itself, it must be disclosed.
Although state laws vary, the federal law requires a lead paint disclosure if the home was built before 1978. The buyer has ten days to complete a lead paint inspection if they want to. If there has been a death in the home, a seller must disclose this fact in most states if it was not due to foul play or gruesome. You do not have to disclose the fact that there might be the presence of a ghost or a haunting by a former occupant of the home who has died there. If the death was caused by AIDS, in some states that should not be disclosed because a discrimination claim could follow after an AIDS death being disclosed.
Any potential external hazards such as ground pollution, noise pollution, natural hazards, air pollution, or fire hazards need to be disclosed in many states. Depending on the region the seller would have to disclose if the home is in a flood zone, if the home has earthquake damage, any type of insect infestation, zone changes, radon, or mold. With the high volume of methamphetamine labs being discovered today, some states now require the seller to disclose the knowledge of any pre-existing labs because the toxic chemicals from these labs can contaminate porous materials. Some of the materials include the plaster, walls, carpets, and counters.
If the home you are selling is a condominium or a townhouse and is in a planned unit development, the seller will have to disclose and provide the buyer with a copy of the homeowner association regulations and rules.
Before you write a disclosure, be sure to check with your state to see what needs to be disclosed so you will have a complete disclosure to share with the potential buyer.