Selling Your Home: What to Disclose

One of the most frequent questions that sellers ask their agents when selling their home is ‘do I need to disclose everything?’

There are consequences if you do not provide the basic information about certain problems faced with the home. Home buyers can file a law suit if you are accused of deliberately hiding a problem within the home. In terms of providing information to potential buyers about the state of the home different rules apply which are dependent on your location. Disclosure laws vary from province to province. Your best source of information is your Agent. They should be able to provide you with the disclosure forms and explain them to you. As a home owner you should be careful in terms of mentioning the following problem areas:

Repairs and insurance claims: Any repairs that you have done or the owners prior to you moving in that you are aware of, you should disclose this to interested buyers. If you are unsure of any repairs that were done prior to you moving in, you can request a CLUE report which will show history of insurance claims for the past seven years.

Water damage or mold:  You are required to let potential buyers know of any water damage such as floods or mold problems. You should provide insurance claims and receipts so that buyers know how the issue was handled.

Hazardous conditions: If the home is in an area that is prone to floods, earthquake, or wild fires, disclosure of such conditions is dependent of your location. Advise with your agent.

Lead paint: If it is an older home that you are selling, federal law requires that any known lead based paint to be disclosed.

Termite damage: If in the past you have had termite inspections then you should disclose this. This may help you save some money by not having to pay for another one.

As a seller you need to be aware that if you are selling the home ‘as is’, this does not mean that you are not required to disclose any information. The selling ‘as is’ clause just indicates that the you as the seller will not negotiate with the buyer in terms of any future repairs that they would like completed. It is always in your best interest to disclose the information that you think should be disclosed this way you prevent yourself from incurring any future lawsuits.

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