Home sellers are well advised to disclose all their repairs, renovations and upkeep in their “For Sale” and “As Is” contracts with their prospective buyers. It is vital to understand what a seller must do when it comes time for a home showing and what is protected by state and federal laws. This article will discuss some of these matters and clarify any confusions about what is required when selling your home.
One of the most important issues to be aware of is mold or mildew growth within the home. Typically, mold can only be detected if there is another detectable issue present. For example, a homeowners association’s mold inspector will not detect a mold problem unless there are visible signs of mold such as black specks on the basement walls, ceiling tiles, walls, or wood framing.
The buyer should make sure to have a mold specialist or other licensed professional to come to the home to test for mold. If the issue is detected, the remediation process can begin. The remediation team may include a mold restoration company, an experienced mold inspector, or a reputable mold removal service. Once the remediation team has completed the testing and cleanup the buyer will need to consult with a real estate lawyer who is familiar with real estate law to ensure the disclosure is accurately recorded and follows all local rules and regulations.
The mere presence of termites could also cause a serious health hazard. Also called “white ants”, these pests eat wood, feed on insulation and create unsightly, tiny holes and chew openings. This type of pest infestation should be made a part of a home sellers “For Sale” contract. Again, a homeowner’s association might be contacted to advise of any public or private areas where termites have been found. Again, a disclosure statement is required under local building regulations.
A new home or a house that has been newly constructed, or a home that is being rented, are likely to attract some type of public nuisance. Common examples include dog poop, bird droppings, oil, grease, or smoke. Depending on where the homeowner’s association is located, a sampling of the material may be required prior to allowing construction to begin. Some homeowners associations require the removal of the material before construction begins. In addition, homeowners can be required to pay for all cleanup costs resulting from a public nuisance.
Home Repairs & Remodels
A disclosure is needed in connection with any remodeling that will take place on the property. If the remodeling includes changing floors, adding a basement, getting a roof inspection, or putting a patio, the previous occupants must be made aware of the safety issues that could potentially arise. You must provide copies of all relevant receipts or bills. In addition, you must list any materials purchased at a local home improvement store that are part of the project and require your contractor to purchase them as well. These are all part of the contractor’s responsibilities. This will ensure that there is no additional risk involved when people step onto the property.
Home Seller Disclosures Are More Important Than You Think
While it may not seem like a big deal for many buyers, it is vitally important that potential home sellers make these disclosures to buyers they plan to sell their home to. The mere fact that a seller does not make the requisite disclosure before selling the home could create a major problem for a potential buyer who was unaware of such information. There are several reasons why this is so, including issues regarding the status of financing, the condition of the home, and the quality of the neighborhood in which the property is located. It is important to consider these things when looking into selling your home.