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Why You Should Always Reveal The Defects Of Your Home When Trying To Sell It

by Fernando Moore

When a house has a major problem or defect of some kind, it can be tempting for the owner to want to conceal this issue. Homeowners are not legally allowed to do this though, and there are consequences of this action. If your home has a major problem, you might be afraid you will never find a buyer; however, you have a legal obligation to let people know of this problem. Here are three things you should know about this.

Why full disclosure is required

Anyone selling a home is legally required to fill out a Seller's Disclosure Form, which requires full disclosure of any type of major problem a house may have. This includes problems with the roof, heating, plumbing, electrical system, and septic, and it always requires revealing mold issues, problems with rodents or bugs, or anything else a person may want to know before buying a house. This form does not require listing minor issues, such as a broken icemaker or missing piece of trim.

The main reason this is required is to help buyers know what they are purchasing. It prevents a person from ending up with a lemon of a house, and it helps people save money when house shopping.

Consequences of not disclosing major problems

If you know of a problem with your home, you face huge consequences if you fail to disclose it. The person that buys your home can legally come after you for this, and you could end up paying a lot of money for the problem. The buyer could sue you for money to cover the following expenses:

  • Attorney fees
  • Costs to make all necessary repairs
  • Punitive damages for the pain and suffering the buyer experienced from this

Why it's better to tell the truth

While you might be afraid that no one will buy your home if you tell the truth, it is still better to reveal any problems you know about. Not only is this legally required, but it will also save you from trouble in the future. If you can just be honest about the issues your home has, you will never have to worry about getting sued in the future. The downside to this is that you may have to accept a lower amount for your home, but at least you would not have to worry about consequences in the future.

If you are getting ready to put your home up for sale and have questions about this, contact a real estate agent today for your single family home for sale.