Three important things to disclose before your home is sold.

In real estate transactions, the key to avoiding lawsuits is to disclose all relevant information about the home. The specifics vary by state, but most states, including Texas, require some type of seller disclosure. The goal is to add transparency to the transaction.

In this disclosure, a seller provides written information about known things that could impact the property’s value. While there are many different things a seller must disclose, I’m going to highlight three of the most forgotten (and impactful) items:

1. HOA information. You must disclose the annual and monthly HOA fees and how they’re paid, as well as the bylaws, conditions, covenants, and restrictions that will outline what is allowed in the neighborhood or subdivision. Also, you have to disclose the details about the public improvement districts (PEDs). Such districts are created within a municipality where the owners of the property are helping to pay for some of the improvements. It’s an assessment that’s either paid yearly or in one lump sum.

“When in doubt, disclose it.”

2. Repairs. If your home has major structural issues, you must disclose them to a potential seller. In addition to repairs that need to be made, you must also disclose repairs that have been completed. Buyers need to know the home’s repair history so they can have their home inspectors pay extra attention to problem areas. You may also want to disclose electrical or plumbing repairs and any other problems you would want to know about if you were going to buy the home. If you want to stay on the safe side, remember this rule: when in doubt, disclose it. 

3. Federal seller’s disclosure requirement. If your home was built before 1978, federal law requires that you disclose that the property may produce exposure to lead from lead-based paint. It was federally banned for consumer use during that year. Sellers of homes built before 1978 must also provide buyers with an EPA pamphlet titled, “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home.” Then they must give buyers 10 days to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint, and include a “lead warning statement” in the contract.

If you have further questions about what you need to disclose when selling your home or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.