Anyone who’s spent time around real estate professionals will likely have heard the adage “disclose, disclose, disclose!” It’s worth your time to discover these 4 things sellers need to know about real estate disclosures in Charlotte. The best policy is to always be be open and honest about the property, which will help you to not only avoid a potential lawsuit, but it is also going to make you an all around more trustworthy person to work with, which everyone appreciates. When you start to hide defects or repairs that you have been putting off, those are the kinds of items that will come back to bite you in the butt in the end.
One of the things buyers are expecting when they have purchased real estate is their right to the enjoyment of the property. Should you be aware of any problem with the property or location that is prohibitive to that enjoyment, it is another thing on the list that sellers need to know about real estate disclosures in Charlotte. Is there a high school with a band or another source of extremely loud noise? Any factory or other source of the odor or smoke fumes that overwhelm the neighborhood at certain times? Does your bright and cheery home by day become a dangerous landscape at night, due to the presence of criminal activity?
Making buyers aware of existing or potential dangers inherent to the property is another thing sellers need to know about real estate disclosures in Charlotte. The laws on this subject vary widely, however, they cover a vast array of potential hazards that homeowners across the country have encountered and it is highly advisable that you make yourself aware of the laws that govern your property. There are also federal laws, such as those governing lead paint. Basically, if you are aware of natural dangers on the property itself or the surrounding location, such as being near a fault line in areas where earthquakes are more common, you must reveal the data. Problems that have led to the contamination of the property, whether from local commercial activity or caused by a natural source, must also be provided. Likewise, issues with pests, such as termites and their treatment must also be included.
While not a typical subject when it comes to financial transactions, should you be inhabited by ghosts, you will need to report your knowledge of the haunting, in the laws governing real estate disclosure in some states. Commonly, deaths with causes unrelated to any issues with the property itself are likely not required to be disclosed. However, should the cause have been due to a condition of the property, either structurally or otherwise, in most cases this must be disclosed. Sellers would be wise to educate themselves on the specifics of the real estate laws about death when it comes to real estate disclosures in Charlotte.
What was fixed, why, and when are among the things sellers need to know about real estate disclosures in Charlotte. As you may be well aware, there are just certain issues with a home that may continue to rear their ugly heads. Was there an issue with water damage in the past, what was the source and was there mold? Was the damage properly remediated by professionals? While it may be easy to temporarily hide an issue by deviously timing the showing of the property, finding yourself tangled up in the web of being sued is a nightmare, with the possibility of financial devastation should you lose your case. Problems in the past which you’re aware of may have even repaired and could even remotely become a future issue, are among the facts about the history of your property that you will need to bring to the attention of your buyers in your disclosure.
One important thing sellers need to know about real estate disclosures in Charlotte is that even if you are selling “as is,” any known issues with the home that devalue the property must be disclosed. There is a risk of being sued should you fail to disclose information that you were aware of. Laws about what must be disclosed may vary from state to state. you will want to be certain to have everything in writing that comes with the property from the start, for instance, your grandfather clock isn’t included. Conversely, if something is missing from the property, which may not be noticeable on a quick walkthrough, but would be expected to be present, you must also disclose this. For example, you are showing the property on the hottest day of summer, and the buyers see a heating unit, but you know that this is just an outer case and there are no working parts inside the unit, you could easily be sued for failure to disclose this information.
Any prudent buyer is going to choose to have the house inspected before they will close on a sale. This will allow them to address any necessary repairs ahead of time, and of course it will also effect their bargaining ability if they decide they do want to take the work on. An inspection is also a way of showing good-faith when you are selling a property. It proves that you’re proclaiming to the world that you confident that your house is in the greatest possible condition before you sell it. A good example of a checklist that will be used can be viewed here. This help you to understand that even the little things will be inspected.
Like we’ve previously mentioned, disclosure rules can vary by state. Your attorney, agent or broker can give you a to-do list that will cover all of the requirements, specifically for your state. Make sure to review the list entirely and report any information that might pertain to your house. When possible, report the dates when any upgrades or repairs were done. Complete the form, as honestly as possible. In the event that you do have questions, it’s always best to address them to a lawyer if you can, as opposed to just an agent. Important questions like that might not be within the scope of your agents experience, so you want to everything you can to lessen your own liability.
Remember, YOU CAN BE SUED for dishonesty.
In the event that you are ever found liable, you will be required to pay for legal expenses, repairs and punitive damages.
Almost all real estate lawsuits happen because of non-disclosure.
So how should you determine what you are legally required to disclose? The best way to look at it is by asking, “does this affect the value of my property?” Here are some common concerns that should be addressed if they relate to your property:
- Concerns regarding the land. This could mean issues with the drainage, bad soil for building, or the potential for flooding. This could drastically prevent the property from increasing in value in the future.
- Foundational cracks or leveling issues. In some cracks that are really bad, or when the house has settled one way too much, there might be severe structural damage there, which is very costly to fix.
- Plumbing problems or sewage issues. Whether it is just a leaky pipe, or a more sever matter that is known about, they all should be brought to light, that way the buyer has the opportunity to investigate it further if they wish. Some of the more expensive major repairs seems to come through water damage of some kind.
- Heating and HVAC. Any issues or irregularities in the heating or cooling systems definitely need to be addressed.
- Experiences with insects, critters or bugs. Which includes problems with termites, ants, cockroaches, rats, or moles – all of them need to informed of to your potential buyers.
- Leaking roofs or missing shingles. It’s important that you inform your buyer about these issues, otherwise they are going to find it out during the next rainstorm, which they will not be happy about.
- Of course, lead paint should be a no-brainer. This is one of the most common disclosure in any real estate transaction and in fact, the absence of this form in a transaction for a house that was built before 1972 can get you in some serious hot water.
- Issues that can affect the right to title. Determining rightful ownership is imperative to a successful transaction. This should be spelled out right at the very beginning of the deal, not left to find out during the escrow process.
- Documentation for past repairs. Keeping records of past repairs that have been made. as well as insurance claims that have been filed in the past is also important. You should be able to prove what work was done and the materials that were used.
For more information on what you need to disclose on your disclosure statement, check out Nolo.com’s article, Selling a North Carolina Home: What Are My Disclosure Obligations? which gives detailed specifics of what you will need to disclose and not necessarily required. If it looks like you are trying to hide things, buyers may lose their trust in you and walk away from buying your house.
While you may consider holding back information you’re aware of, which may not be legally required in your state, it’s wise to disclose the information to fend off any possibility of future court proceedings. In other words, you need to disclose EVERYTHING – which may end up lowering your asking price. It’s best to sell directly to Lanier House Buyers as is! Learn more about how we can help you by sending us a message or giving us a call at 803-935-9085 today!