How Your Seller Disclosure Helps Avoid Lawsuits While Selling a House

How Your Seller Disclosure Helps Avoid Lawsuits While Selling a House


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Seller DisclosureDisclosing problems or information to a potential buyer seems like a scary situation to any seller.  Many people feel that their house will not sell if all of these problems are laid out on the table.  The problem is, if these problems are not presented in the seller disclosure and the house does sell, the seller may still be on the hook for these issues.

It is easier, more cost-effective, and beneficial to the seller to share everything in the seller disclosure.

Disclose, disclose, disclose

If there is ever a question about whether to disclose something or not, decide to disclose.  This is true even if the issue does not seem major as the buyer may disagree.

If it is about a former repair a buyer can actually come back and ask the former owner to fix any repairs that were not done correctly the first time.  By disclosing all information and getting a proper inspection, much of this headache can be avoided.

Even if there are sales that are lost due to the disclosures it is for the best.  It is better to avoid selling to someone who will later sue the seller.  Instead, tell the potential buyer everything about the house and let them decide if they want to dedicate themselves to fixing any problems.

Disclose Reports

While it is not always required in some areas, it is best to disclose any inspection reports.  This will give the buyer a clear idea of what they are going to deal with in the house.  By giving all of this information upfront a buyer cannot claim they did not have knowledge of a problem prior to the sale.

Even though disclosing a lot of information at once can seem overwhelming it may turn into white noise for the buyer.  After getting multiple of these disclosures or hearing many tiny issues that have already been fixed, they may tune out.  They are still getting the information but they are more likely to ignore the disclosures and evaluate the property themselves.

Share What You Know

Covering up a problem is unacceptable.  It will be discovered and the sale will likely be lost because of it.  A problem that the seller is unaware of is not a problem.  If there is an issue with the house that the seller truly does not know about the buyer cannot hold them responsible.

If the problem has not presented itself, the buyer has never noticed it and it was missed by an inspector than the buyer will be responsible for the problem.  Once an offer has been made on a house it is up to the buyer to do some research and digging or even hire an inspector themselves, to ensure that the house does not have problems.

Supply All Information

When selling a house there are some buyers who want a complete history.  They like to know the exact measurements of the house or the lot and it can be impossible to know this down to the inch.

In fact, there is no set way to measure the square footage of a house.  Every inspector or contractor can measure differently and come up with a different number.

If there is any information, like the square footage, that a seller is unsure if it is okay to disclose the information. When unsure of an answer be sure to disclose that it is an estimation.  Or provide the document that states who provided the information and show that the information was given without any malicious intent to deceive a buyer.

Never be afraid of giving a buyer too much information.  Too much is much better than a buyer coming back and suing because of problems not included in the seller disclosure.

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