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The importance of full disclosure when selling your home

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Real estate disputes

If you’re selling your California home, you must disclose as much information about it as possible to a potential seller. For instance, if you know that the foundation is cracked, you can’t just cover the crack with a rug and pretend it isn’t there. Failing to disclose defects might result in legal action against yourself, your agent or both.

Work with your agent

Your agent will likely have a list of questions to go over with you to ensure that all proper disclosures are made. You will be asked to sign the disclosure form stating that all the information is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. The form can be amended later if you think of anything that needs to be added at some point in the future.

Not all oversights are treated equally

If you didn’t know that there were mice in the attic, the buyer likely won’t have much of a claim if a mouse scurries out a few weeks after the sale is complete. However, if you knew that there was an infestation, you could be on the hook for any damages that a buyer incurs. The same might be true if you knew of any other real estate issues but simply declined to divulge that information.

Review the contract

The purchase contract will likely have contingencies and other language built into it to protect your rights as well as the buyer’s interests. Therefore, it’s possible that an oversight won’t result in a legal claim based on the contract’s language. You may also be able to point to the fact that a buyer waived their right to an inspection as potential negligence on their part.

Even in a seller’s market, there are rules that need to be followed when transferring ownership of your home to another party. Failure to follow them could threaten a sale, which may make it harder to buy your next home or accomplish other goals with the proceeds from the sale.