As Stockton home sellers, knowing what needs to be disclosed and what does not can be a tricky tightrope to walk when it’s time to sell your house. Stockton home sellers have a legal obligation to disclose current and past problems to potential buyers. But how extensive is that obligation?
Buyers want to know exactly what they are getting with a Stockton house and home sellers want to minimize problems that may affect their ability to sell their house. No matter what side of the real estate process you are on it’s always a good idea to understand disclosure basics.
Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and even from county to county or city to city. Usually Stockton home sellers are only obligated to disclose defects of which they have first hand knowledge. This means that sellers are not required to have an inspector come out and look for problems before they list their house.
But there are exceptions to this. Some areas have laws that require home sellers to look for issues pertaining to water damage or mold, termite damage, foundation cracks, roof damage, any appliance issues, environmental dangers and note previous repairs and renovations.
Be aware that if Stockton home sellers fail to disclose, there can be serious consequences. Some laws can keep buyers on the hook for up to 10 years and allow buyers to sue for damages if home sellers failed to disclose.
If you aren’t sure if you should disclose a particular issue, it can be best to go ahead and do so. Full disclosure will protect Stockton home sellers from any legal claims that could happen down the road. Taking this step of being up front with any and all information can also make buyers feel confident that they are being given complete access to the home. This can go a long way in helping them believe that they are getting a fair deal.
It is worth keeping in mind that just because a seller discloses a problem it does not necessarily mean they have to fix it. Buyers who have fallen in love with a property will often be able to overlook minor flaws. More serious issues may need to be negotiated on, but again, shouldn’t be a deal breaker if the buyer is really interested in the property.
In the end, full disclosure is important to protect both the Stockton buyer and seller, to help ensure smooth closing of the sale, and to get the best deal for all involved.
Real estate attorneys and professionals will help to guarantee that you are in compliance with the disclosure requirements for your sale. In most areas there are specific forms that must be used when making disclosures. Whether or not it’s legally required, it’s always a good idea for the seller’s attorney or agent to use a form that specifically spelled out all of the disclosures.