HOME SELLER TIPS: What to Disclose to Buyers
Legal issues facing Florida sellers’ nondisclosure of a property’s condition, has become an issue the in recent years. A seller/owner’s non-disclosure could result in more lawsuits. Sellers need to provide full disclosure of previous problems with their property when they are selling their home – even if they those problems have been repaired/rectified.
As a home seller, you must disclose anything that might impact the value of your Gainesville home. That includes something as small as a toilet that doesn’t flush properly to something as big as an unstable foundation or soil movement. Seller’s must disclose all material facts about the property.
Anyone selling a Gainesville home, even in “as-is” condition, must obey disclosure laws.
The only sellers that are exempt from property disclosures in the State of Florida are bank-owned properties, and/or properties owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD.
Here are IMPORTANT things that a seller must disclose:
- Termites – If your Gainesville home has had a problem with termites, it must be disclosed to the buyer. If your home currently has a termite contract, it is best to share that with they buyer as well. Note: The buyers will do a WDO/Termite inspection during their inspection period.
- Lead – If your home was built before 1978, you must comply with the federal law requiring disclosure of all known lead-based paint and hazards in or around the house. Buyers must receive a copy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home, and they must be allowed a ten-day window to test the house for lead.
- Water damage or mold – If there was mold caused by a leaky roof, water intrusion, or dampness, these water issues must be disclosed.
- Infamous History – A home’s notorious or criminal past must be disclosed.
- Natural hazards – Flood Zone and Sink Holes. The State of Florida require sellers to disclose any risk of natural disasters such as being in a flood plain. Your insurance costs will be based on Flood plain information and known issues regarding sink holes. Buyers will be shopping for insurance and information about sink holes and flood zones are on file with all insurance companies and will effect rates on premiums.
- Historical or special zoning should also be disclosed as it limits what the buyer may be able to do with or to the property. In Alachua County Florida, buyers must know current zoning (ie: residential, agriculture) on your property and surrounding areas.
If you’re unsure as to whether you should disclose something, disclose it! If you have even the smallest question about whether to disclose something to potential buyers, avoid the potential for liability and provide disclosure!
If you’re considering selling your Gainesville home, give me a call today at (352) 278-9347