Selling your home is a wise decision if you have positive equity and live in an area that’s in-demand. With the profit you make, you can pay off a home loan and use the rest as a deposit on a better property. Real estate is a game you must play until you finally land the home of your dreams.
Over the years, more and more property owners have cashed in and transformed their lives. As a result, it’s tempting to see your house as a surefire investment, one that will reap dividends in the future. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case since there are rules and regulations you have to follow, the main one being disclosing essential information to potential buyers.
Those who don’t leave themselves liable to a lawsuit, a lengthy and costly process that nobody wants. Therefore, you must disclose information since it’s the law and the right thing to do. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your home in a new light. As long as you make the necessary investments and repairs, you can highlight why your property is no longer a risk.
By doing this, the house will fetch the biggest price possible, something all sellers desire. With that in mind, here are six features you have to tell buyers and the fixes to appease them.
Death In The Property
Firstly, it’s essential to recognize what you must disclose and what you must keep close to your chest. A death in the home is a prime example. For instance, in most states, anything relating to a natural passing or an accident unrelated to the property is fine to leave out of the realtor’s listing.
On the flip side, a death related to the property’s condition or violent crime leaves you open to legal action if you’re not fully open. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy since it depends on the state you live in and its specific legislation. Of course, researching the rules is imperative to avoid leaving yourself vulnerable.
If you’re unsure, it’s smart to tell interested parties, even if you’re not obliged to by law. Remember that the internet is a vat of information that makes the world a small place. Plus, neighbors talk all the time and will gladly inform new neighbors about the circumstances surrounding your home. The surprise will catch them out and make them wonder why you didn’t mention it during the viewing.
In this instance, it’s savvy to point out what happened and anything protective measures put in place to stop it from occurring again. An accident in a pool is preventable with fencing or by removing the feature entirely.
Not every home is outright owned and maintained by the people who live in it. The vast majority are because nobody wants a landlord telling them what they can and can’t do in their house. Yet, apartments and condominiums are sometimes part of a Homeowner’s Association or HOA.
If this is the case, it means the HOA can make and enforce rules that residents must adhere to, or else they could face legal action. Although it’s tempting to omit this information from a sale, it’s counterproductive as the solution is straightforward – transparency. When you are open and honest, you clear yourself of any future blame.
It’s incredibly easy because every association has to provide info and documents regarding potential rules that could come into play. Therefore, you’ll have the files that you can pass on to your realtor. As long as the buyer has it in writing that there won’t be any costly renovations or improvements within a year or two, they shouldn’t be anxious.
Whatever the HOA says is binding, so it’s not as if they can go back on the meeting minutes, not when they are written down and understood by everyone who’s part of the association.
Natural disasters almost always have to be disclosed, but water damage is probably the biggest fear buyers have today. Although tornadoes are common in certain places, the rise of global warming means that most property owners are subject to extreme flooding. Considering Mother Nature can take a home in seconds, it’s a massive deal.
To begin with, it’s best to be open about the potential for water damage, even if your home hasn’t suffered from it previously. Again, weather conditions appear to be getting worse, so it’s smarter to cover yourself during any legal proceedings. Of course, you can highlight how you combat the elements to protect your home, such as trench drains, and the benefits of polymer concrete trench drains and why you picked them initially.
The same goes for any exterior permeable materials that are designed to stop the build-up of standing water. Another area to focus on is internal sources of water damage. These are more common since properties experience faults, especially if the piping is old and needs replacing. Again, you can provide documents that show what the problem was – a leaky roof – and how the contractor reinforced the area.
Where possible, use a building company or individual with an exceptional reputation. Then, their standing in the industry will reflect well on you as you chose the best outfit for the job, which means the work is bound to be high-quality.
There are tons of potential hazards, so it’s hard to tell what is harmful and worth disclosing. Sadly, this makes the problem more confusing since you might not know something is wrong, yet ignorance isn’t an excuse for failing to tell buyers about issues you must disclose by law.
Therefore, it’s often wise to invest in a property survey before putting your home on the market. When you do this, you learn about things under the surface that don’t show up normally. For example, it could show an underground mine in the garden that has been there for years. While it might not appear important, selling the house with planning permission attached is problematic as the buyers won’t be able to build on top of a disused mine shaft.
Also, a survey confirms any suspicions you might have. Cracks in the plaster and walls are usually nothing, yet they can indicate subsidence. Selling a house that has dodgy foundations or is falling to one side isn’t legal if the buyers are unaware. It’s worth the couple of hundred dollars to put your mind at ease with that in mind.
At least you’ll know every intimate detail and be able to decide whether you should tell viewers, or whether it’s something you don’t need to disclose.
The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is also known as the National Register, and it’s places and areas in the US that are preserved for their beauty and culture. For instance, a famous person might have lived there in the past, and the Register has moved to have the place protected as a result.
It’s unusual not to know that your home is on the official list. However, your property doesn’t have to be on a register for this body to cause problems. It only has to be in the region to control what you can and can’t do regarding building work and home improvements.
If your house is in a historic district, any additions to buildings have to resemble the rest of the area. Not only is this inaccessible since few contractors are capable of taking on such projects, but it’s expensive. After all, there is no competition, so you have to pay whatever a company or individual quotes for the work.
As you can guess, anybody you sell the property to will want to consider this information beforehand as it impacts their ability to create their home. Places on the National Register list are more common than you imagine, so it’s using their database to figure out if your home applies.
Depending on where you live, you’ll find that the law on specific household items differs from state to state. Mostly, it’s only Texas and Michigan that mandate sellers to inform anyone interested in buying a property of the missing appliances.
So, if you’re outside of these states, you might wonder why it appears in this post. The answer is simple – it’s about going the extra mile. Sure, you aren’t obliged to tell them that there is no tumble dryer as the buyer has to be liable for their mistakes. But, people who are open about what they do and don’t have are trustworthy.
You’re disclosing everything you feel is worth knowing, which makes you reliable. Others would keep quiet and hope the property sells quickly; however, the tactic can come back to bite. Should interested parties view a fully-equipped home, they’ll choose it out of necessity and accessibility.
Yet, if you inform them what’s missing and how much you’ve taken off the listing price, they could be more inclined to make a bid.
You don’t always have to disclose information, but it’s typically a solid move as it makes you appear legitimate.