Required disclosures are in important part of the real estate process which is why both buyers and sellers should be familiar with this aspect of buying or selling a home. On one hand, sellers need to be familiar what they are required to disclose and buyers should be familiar with what the seller is required to disclose.
A lack of disclosure in the residential real estate setting can be problematic. A safe rule of thumb in
residential real estate is if you are wondering if you should disclose, it is probably a good idea to disclose. Specifics that should be disclosed include lead-based paint. Lead-based paint disclosures need to be made for homes built prior to 1978 but the seller is not required to investigate if there is lead-based paint. Additionally, sellers are generally required to disclose any infestations of the home.
Another good rule of thumb is to disclose issues that are unusual even if the seller believes they have been resolved. In addition, sellers should disclose any issues related to water drainage on the property. Disputes with neighbors and boundary dispute issues should also be disclosed. Lastly, paranormal activity must be disclosed in some circumstances and it can also be necessary to disclose what are considered emotional defects with a property such as if a murder occurred in the home.
The residential real estate process is significant for both home buyers and sellers and may be the biggest investment either has made so it is important to preserve the transaction. Buyers and sellers should be familiar with the disclosure process and the potential consequences of failure to disclose so that they can each protect their interests.