If you have a home for sale in Santa Cruz or anywhere else in the U.S., you may have heard of the term “disclosure.” What is it, why is it important, and what does it entail?
What is disclosure?
First, disclosure is the act of informing a buyer about any issues that your home for sale in Santa Cruz may have. For instance, if the home has water damage in the basement, you may have to tell the potential buyer about it. I say, “may have to,” because in some states disclosure is a legal issue. In some states, not disclosing issues may be illegal, while in other states, non-disclosure is perfectly legal.
Why is disclosure important?
Real estate transactions are fraught with pitfalls, many of which can end with a lawsuit. Non-disclosure is one of the pitfalls. Several sales throughout the years have ended in non-disclosure lawsuits, where the homebuyer believes, basically, that the homeowner knew a problem existed. The seller didn’t let the buyer know about the issue, which left the buyer feeling as if they’d been scammed – thus, the lawsuit.
What should I disclose to the buyer?
Many real estate agents (including myself), follow a simple rule when it comes to disclosure. “If you wonder whether you should tell the buyer about something, you probably should.” While disclosing problems may mean a lower sales price, not sharing may have you paying more than you ever wanted to in legal fees.
Some things, such as a violent death in the house, have a statute of limitations in most states. For instance, with few exceptions, California Civil Code 1710.2 requires that you tell the potential buyer if the death happened less than three years prior.
Certain disclosures are required, such as lead based paint, the presence of asbestos, or if there’s ever been toxic mold or termites. The rest of the requirements vary from state to state.
As you can see, disclosure isn’t a minor issue. What you have to share versus what you should share, however, all depends on whether you have a home for sale in Santa Cruz or elsewhere in the U.S. If you’re up front, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping the money you made off the sale, versus spending it in legal fees.
If you’re trying to sell your home, I can help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com for more information.