When potential buyers are looking to purchase a new home, they are going to want to know as much about the property as possible. If you are a real estate agent, this comes as no surprise to you at all. While you may have clients who ask a seemingly endless amount of questions, it’s good practice to be as detailed as possible in your answers, especially if the answer would increase the likelihood they purchase the home from you.
But there are often questions that homeowners don’t think to ask because they are more concerned with other areas of the home – when was the last remodel, how many rooms are in the home, are the kitchen appliances all stainless steel. Sometimes this lack of questioning may mean that you don’t have to bring certain things up, but, by law, there are a few areas that you must disclose to potential buyers, even if they don’t ask.
Here is the list of items that real estate agents are required by law to disclose. And even if your particular local or state law doesn’t require that you disclose this information, it still might be good practice in case an unhappy homeowner decides to file a lawsuit against you in the future.
If someone has died in the home.
This isn’t the most positive news to bring up during a property showing, but it’s information that should be discussed. It may be beneficial that you research what scenarios must be disclosed in your area. Laws might change depending on the circumstances, like whether someone died of natural causes, by suicide, or from a crime. There are even laws in a few states that force you to disclose whether a home has ever been deemed “haunted.”
If there has been any water or mold damage.
If the home has ever been subject to water or mold damage, it’s important that the potential buyers are aware of those facts. It goes without saying, but any present leaks or mold must also be addressed. If possible, it would be a good rule of thumb to have any relevant receipts to prove to your clients that the issues have been resolved, or are in the process of being resolved.
If there is any lead paint in the home.
This doesn’t apply to newer homes, but homes that were built before 1978 often contain lead paint. This information needs to be reported on because it prevents possible health risks.
If there are hazardous conditions surrounding the home.
If you are selling a property that is in a dangerous area and could be subject to environmental hazards like flooding or wildfires, the potential buyers must be aware of this. This could be the deciding factor on whether or not they decide to put an offer down on the home. If they are still interested in the home, this ensures that they can take adequate measures in order to be as prepared as possible.