Disclosure - What You Need To Tell Potential Buyers About Your Home

By: Stephanie Wilkins

Disclosure - What You Need To Tell Potential Buyers About Your Home

Tags: Selling, Disclosure, Buyers, Defects, Homes, Toronto Realestate

Just as the family that lives in each home is unique, so is the home itself. You probably know all the quirks, subtleties, imperfections, and peculiarities of your home and may even find many of them charming. When you list your home for sale, your natural instinct is to highlight its best features and cast your home in its best possible light to snag the highest asking and selling price you can.
 
Potential buyers are very likely to request a home inspection before they sign on the dotted line and take ownership. This home inspection is a good, safety and disclosing feature for the protection of the buyer and of the seller. It does not, however, eliminate the seller’s obligation to make complete and honest disclosure about the condition of their property.
 
While you may be hesitant to point out less than desirable features of your home, full and honest transparency will definitely work in your favor. A home inspector is trained to notice any defects and will point them out to potential buyers. Learning of these issues from a third party can lead the buyer to believe you were trying to be deceptive. They will then be less likely to negotiate in your favor and might even negotiate more aggressively to lower the price as much as possible. Additionally, if an issue is discovered after a sale is complete, it could lead to a lawsuit.
 
When you meet with your agent to sign the listing, make sure you declare the known issues in your home or that you are unaware of any issues that might deter a buyer or lower the property’s value or asking price. Depending on your property location, you may also be required to disclose information on your home’s tendency to flood. 

You might also need to disclose things like pollution or air quality concerns, potential zoning changes to your neighborhood, or whether or not your home is in a historic district. Additionally, buyers have a right to know if the home they’re considering has been the scene of a recent crime or if someone died from a violent death (suicide) on the property. One of the most common disclosures is water damage and issues with mold and mildew. Holding on to receipts and insurance paperwork can help prove that you’ve addressed these issues. Termites are a pain in the wood and buyers must also be made aware of any infestations and what was done to eradicate the pests.
 
Transparency about any issues in your home – and all homes have at least one or two – is an important part of the selling process. Not only are these disclosures mandated by law, disclosing them is the right thing to do. Place yourself in the buyer’s position and think about every issue and concern you’d want to be made aware of. Those are the things you should share with your agent, and together, you can decide how and what to disclose to your buyer.