Selling your house is a big decision but one that thousands of people make every year. In fact, studies suggest over half a million houses change hands every year. In most cases the process is straightforward. You contact a real estate agent, list the house, and wait for the offers to start rolling in.
That’s assuming you’ve priced it correctly. However, after you’ve got an offer your house will need to be inspected. That’s when issues are discovered and the price is renegotiated or the buyer walks away. If you want to avoid this you’re going to need to make sure you fully disclose everything before the sale.
It is worth noting that choosing to use a real estate auctioneer northern beaches places much more emphasis on the buyer taking the risk. But, in all cases, if you know something negative about your property you should disclose it. Adopting this approach is polite and could save you a lot of issues in the future.
List of things to disclose when selling a house
Here is a list of things to disclose when selling a house;
An easement allows someone to use your land or even part of the property. They are commonly used by the water and electric board to have utilities running under your yard. It’s important to disclose them.
These are rules that apply specifically to your house. They are most likely to be neighborhood rules, such as an inability to put fencing at the front of your property or restrictions on the colors you can paint your property.
If you are in a flood zone or a bush fire zone then you need to disclose this before the contract is drawn up. It can influence someone’s decision regarding whether to buy your house or not.
If you know that your property has structural issues or pest problems it’s advisable to disclose this. In some states it’s obligatory and your buyer is likely to do a survey that will show the issues anyway.
In some states, you have a legal obligation to disclose a crime that has happened inside your house. This doesn’t mean all crimes. But, if there has been a murder or violent robbery it may be a legal requirement to let potential buyers know.
The most common one is asbestos. But, lead pipes are also considered hazardous, as are several; other compounds. If your property has these you will need to disclose this before the sale.
If you are new to the market, you might be asking yourself— “what is asbestos?”. Might be worthwhile to read up, especially if you’re selling a house that was built decades ago.
Deciding on disclosure
The above list is not exhaustive. Basically, anything that could lower the value of the house or influence someone’s decision to live in the house should be disclosed. This protects you from an unhappy buyer suing you for thousands of dollars. In some states, failing to disclose can even mean a jail sentence.
The best approach is to disclose everything you know about the house and this will ensure you are protected from any comeback. Full disclosure also makes it harder for the price to be renegotiated, although selling at auction makes price renegotiation impossible.