Know the Home Seller Disclosure Laws in your State
Selling or buying a home can be an exciting event in Austin, Texas. But when jumping into the real estate game, you want to give yourself a thorough education on all involved federal, state and local laws.
Whether you’re a home buyer, home seller inspector or real estate broker, the most important aspects are disclosure documents and requirements. We have a home seller’s tip that guarantee you sold out the house.
If you’re looking to buy a home, you want to avoid shady pitfalls. Educating yourself about all applicable laws in regards to homeowners and real estate brokers is very important.
They must tell you about damages, problems and issues with the property, including information about lead paint and asbestos. This safeguards you against fraudulent claims and hidden problems with the property.
It’s a frustrating experience to later discover you bought a house with problems not disclosed, the seller didn’t disclose water damage or the seller lied on property disclosure statements.
Although it’s illegal for homeowners and agents to omit this information, attempting to sue after the fact is troublesome, to say the least. Bringing these issues to court later will be a difficult, long and arduous process. All which you can avoid by knowing what you’re getting into beforehand.
Have Our Team Call You
REAL ESTATE BROKERS
Real estate agents want to make the best impression possible to get an optimum price. But out of both seller and home buyer, real estate brokers should know all home disclosure laws almost as well as the back of their hand.
They should be pertinently aware of the difference in laws for sellers versus real estate brokers. Agents have a much higher standard the average homeowner about home disclosure laws. Failure to disclose real estate law during the course of business can result in severe repercussions for a broker.
Home disclosure laws are a crucial aspect for any homeowner in Austin, Texas – and for the rest of the United States. Be aware of legal stipulations in regards to what you must let buyers and real estate brokers know about potential problems, hazards and risks. This will help you better plan for your sale and avoid issues with the law.
Put in simple terms, be honest about the condition of your home. Also consider the possibility that what you think is a problem, a potential buyer may not see as much of an issue at all. Giving a basic overview of the negatives and positives will make it easier for everyone involved.
COMMON HOME SELLER DISCLOSURE LAWS
Planning and preparing for a home inspection will help keep a sale intact. Homeowners can do a walk-through before a pre-inspection to look for obvious issues that can arise during the home buyer’s inspection. The following is a list of some of the most popular issues in many states, including Texas, for home seller disclosure laws:
If you perform an inspection before the buyer, you have to disclose any problems before they make an offer. Be sure to provide those home seller checklist results in the event of any discrepancies with the buyer’s inspector.
Federal home seller disclosure laws mandate transparency about lead-based paint if the home’s construction was before 1978. Either the homeowner or real estate agent must provide a pamphlet to potential buyers about the risks involved with lead. You must also allow for a lead test within a 10-day window. This law applies to every state in the United States.
MOLD & MILDEW
Water damage can be a deal breaker for many potential home buyers. A plethora of studies are available on how mold creates respiratory issues for pets and people alike. It’s awful to look at and it can have a horrible odor. Be forthcoming about this and try to solve any mold problems before putting the house up for sale.
You will not be able to hide or fudge numbers about things like the property’s square footage. It’s wise to be honest and accurate at the very beginning. If you get a pre-inspection, this information should be available on the report.
REPAIRS & RENOVATIONS
Any time the property receives an update, it must meet local and state building code regulations. Come with documentation for when the home inspector arrives, they’ll be able to identify repairs or renovations.
Any good home inspector will be able to point out termites and any other infestations. Even if you’ve already rid the place of them, an inspector will notice it because many things can indicate evidence of infestation at some point in history.
Ensure that you are ready with all information about any infestation you’ve had, including exterminator receipts. Explain how you handled the problem and why it is no longer a bother.
OTHER MAJOR PROBLEMS
All systems that keep the house in good, working order must be in top condition or you have to let potential buyers know what’s wrong with them. Things like the home’s foundation, electrical system, walls, roof, flooring, plumbing and heating systems should either be fixed before selling or repaired as an agreement between seller and buyer.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS (HOAS)
Disclose any neighborhood homeowners associations because it’s an important part of the property. They dictate the conditions for living in that area along with rules for home ownership.
Inform potential buyers about the HOA and its stringent bylaws before they purchase the property. Don’t vent your personal issues toward the HOA, but be honest about what they expect from neighborhood residents.
LEGAL ISSUES & LAWSUITS
If you have a lien against your home or a cloud on the title, selling the property will be much harder than it should be. Resolve these issues before contacting a real estate broker and putting your house on the market.
If there are any ongoing legal issues, disclose that to a potential buyer and your real estate agent. Also tell them whether your home is a probate sale, estate sale or short sale.
THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY
Disclosing problems and mishaps about a home can be a tricky balancing act. On the one hand, you want to be honest and accurate about everything that’s wrong. Honesty goes a long way. But on the other end, you don’t want to present the property in too poor of a light.
Being upfront about these things will help prospective buyers feel they can trust you. If the negatives outweigh the positives, potential buyers could run the other way. So being balanced is the only right thing to do.
The best way to determine what’s good, bad and ugly is with a home inspection. Home inspections will not only give you peace of mind, but it’s also a required step in the selling process. It helps diminish worry and guesswork, which allows for honest discourse between buyer and seller.
FOR HOMEOWNERS IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
For Texas residents, Austin Home Inspection Group is the best choice for your inspections. Our expert home inspector are thorough and cost effective, giving you the information needed to stay in line with legal requirements.
Our years of experience in the Austin area means you’ll get a true assessment of your property that you can trust. We never mislead our clients and always give top-notch service.
Interested in getting a trusted property inspection?
Give us a call today and one of our team members will provide you with all the information you need to confidently move forward with your next home or business inspection.