Mistakes on the Seller’s Disclosure form are the number one cause of lawsuits from home sales and they are more common than you think. In fact, buyers filing lawsuits against sellers after the sale of the home can cost sellers on average $15,000 in legal fees. When selling your home, it is important to understand the Seller’s Disclosure and what you need to disclose to a future home buyer to avoid problems down the road.
What Is a Seller’s Disclosure Form?
A Seller’s Disclosure form is a legal document that the seller completes when selling their home. It provides the prospective buyer with a picture of the home’s condition and includes information about known issues and defects that may impact the home’s value. Sellers are legally required to provide this information to buyers.
What Needs to be Disclosed?
Some of the more common issues that need to be disclosed on the Seller’s Disclosure form are:
- Structural problems including issues with the foundation or roof leaks
- Water damage or previous flooding
- Safety hazards such as mold, radon, and lead
- Mechanical problems with the HVAC, electrical, and septic systems
- Wood-destroying insect damage or infestation
- Liens against the property, bankruptcy, or property line disputes
- Renovations to the home
What Happens If I Fail to Disclose Required Details?
If you fail to disclose required details about your home, the buyer can cancel the sale or worse, the buyer may take legal action against you. If you do not disclose an issue on the Seller’s Disclosure form that you knew about, the buyer can sue you. Complete the Seller’s Disclosure form as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Disclose everything. Your real estate agent has a lot of knowledge about the Seller’s Disclosure form and can assist you. Contact your Zuber Realty agent with any questions.