Selling your home can be a stressful time. Of course, you want potential buyers to see your home in its best light. But there are things that a seller must legally disclose to a buyer so that the buyer can make an informed decision. Most often, an untruth will come to light in the inspection of your home. But even if it doesn’t and it comes out after the closing, a buyer can file a lawsuit for the cost of repairs. Here are some things you must disclose to a potential buyer when selling your home.
Here in South Florida, this is a big one. Most sellers are afraid that disclosing past water damage will scare a potential buyer off. But it is illegal to lie about any previous water damage. Before putting your home on the market, you should understand exactly what will come to light in the buyer’s inspection report and take all actions to repair and mitigate any prior water damage.
A seller must disclose the presence of a pest infestation. Trying to hide an issue can only hurt you at inspection time or after closing in the way of a lawsuit. Your best option is to hire a professional exterminator, disclose the problem and show that it was properly treated.
Termites are their own unique breed of pests. They are active in 49 of our 50 states and cause more than $50 billion in damage each year. Treating a home for termites can be costly. If evidence of termite activity has been found, a new buyer’s lender may even refuse financing for the purchase. Never conceal a past termite infestation. Be sure to disclose it and show that it was properly treated.
Roof Damage and Leaks
Here in Florida, you are required to disclose any prior roof leaks or damage. Most buyers will not pass up a home that has had previous roof damage that has been repaired properly. But if a buyer has found that you failed to disclose it, he or she can pull out of the contract.
If your home was built prior to 1978, federal law requires that you disclose the presence of lead-based paint used in your home.
A home’s electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems are thoroughly checked at the time of inspection. If you have had any issues or work done, it’s a good idea to keep all receipts and disclose them to a new buyer. Many sellers will give a home warranty as a sales incentive so the buyer can file a claim if anything goes wrong for the first year.
Getting an inspection completed before you list your home is a good proactive way to understand your home’s issues and get them taken care of before your home goes on the market. For a fast, thorough and affordable home inspection in Broward County, call the professionals at Florida Inspections Unlimited at (954) 861-0666.