Sellers: In The Interest Of Full Disclosure, Don't Hide The Faults In Your Home
So you've decided it's time to move up to the house of your dreams in that gated community acoss town. Or, you've just been promoted at work -- but that promotion involves a transfer out of town or out of state.
Now you need to sell your current home. Face it, being a long-distance landlord just isn't for you. Sure, the market is down in your area, but selling just makes the most sense to you.
Great! A qualified real estate agent in your area will be glad to help. But do not enter into this contract lightly.
If there are items in your home that need to be fixed, you have a couple of choices:
- "Guess" at what needs to be fixed, and have it fixed by a licensed contractor (recommended) or fix it yourself (not recommended).
- Hire a home inspector to do a "prelisting inspection" to find defects.
- Forgo repairs or a preinspection, but disclose all known defects.
One choice you DO NOT have: Bury your head in the sand in regards to your home's issues, hidden or otherwise.
While it may be tempting to try to sell your home "as is," that in itself does NOT change your responsibility to disclose all known defects of your property.
Your agent will go over your state's disclosure paperwork, but in most states the seller is required to fill these out without the help of an agent or friend.
BE HONEST. Make sure every known defect is documented. What you don't know CAN hurt you, too -- if it's an obvious defect, claims of ignorance will not be taken seriously in court.
Save the headaches. Save the antacids. Do the right thing.