If you are preparing to sell the home you own, there are some things that you must be aware of and understand. Certain mistakes made along the way can potentially cost you the sale of your home, or even leave you facing legal charges of fraud and misrepresentation. Here are some of the material issues that you legally have to disclose to any potential buyer as part of the deal.
If you are aware of any mold problems in the house, you must notify the prospective buyer about it. He or she may want you to reduce the price partially to cover the cost of remediation, or they may require that you handle the remediation as a condition of the closing. It is important to remember that failure to disclose mold, especially if you try to cover it up by painting over it, can be seen as a misrepresentation that could void the sale agreement.
Any kind of pest infestation, such as cockroaches, termites, or otherwise must be disclosed before you close on a home sale. The discovery of a pest infestation after the fact, with any evidence that you knew about it, would qualify as misrepresentation of the property. This would allow a seller to reverse the purchase agreement.
Any significant historical issues with the property also must be clearly disclosed in the purchase negotiations. Things that qualify including traumatic issues such as deaths on the property, or any other violent crimes. These are typically a matter of public record anyway, but information like this could be considered wilfully withheld if you don't make the buyer aware early in the process.
If there is any potential for lead paint to be present in the home, you must disclose this to buyers. They have the legal right to request that you have the paint removed from the home before they buy it, or to reduce the purchase price to cover the cost of the paint removal.
In some cases, there are boundary questions and territorial issues related to placement of a garage, fence, or any other fixture on the property. If there is a conflict that exists between you and your neighbors, you should disclose this during negotiation as well. Even if you and your neighbor have come to an agreement up to now, the issue could arise again when the new owner moves in.
A good rule of thumb is to disclose anything that you suspect might be a concern. If you are unsure, talk with a real estate lawyer, like those at the Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm.
When I was younger, I had a hard time following the rules. I got in with a bad group of friends, and I found myself in juvenile detention more than a few times. When I was sixteen, a teacher sat me down and explained where my life was leading. That teacher was the first person that believed in me, and I decided not to let him down. That day, I decided to change my life, and I did. Because of his sound advice, I was able to finish high school, get into a great college, and become a criminal attorney. I understand the uphill battle that troubled youth face, and I want to use this website to teach other people what they need to do to turn things around.