When you list your home for sale, you’ll be required to complete several disclosures which are designed to provide potential buyers with important information about your home’s condition.
The first, and most comprehensive of these, is the Residential Real Property Disclosure which addresses 23 aspects of your home including, but not limited to, the roof, foundation, plumbing, electric, HVAC, and any boundary line disputes.
You are required to any the questions honestly, to the best of your knowledge, and disclose all existing conditions which would have a negative effect on your home’s value or would endanger the health or safety of its future owners. You are not required to go searching for defects and you are not required to report previous defects if they have been corrected and are no longer a concern.
You should be as honest as possible when completing this report. Most, if not all, major defects will be identified during the buyer’s home inspection. And, if after the sale, a material defect is uncovered that you should have been aware of, but did not disclose, you may be subject to legal action.
In addition to the Residential Real Property Disclosure, sellers may be required to complete specific disclosures for radon, mold, and lead-based paint to disclose specific hazards which may be present in your home.
Lead-based Paint: Lead was an ingredient in both interior and exterior paints until it was banned by the federal government in 1978. While it Is usually harmless if in good condition, it can be dangerous when it is peeling and easily consumed by toddlers and small children, or during renovations when it can become airborne and inhaled. If your home was built prior to 1978, you’re required to complete a Lead Paint Disclosure.
Radon: Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas and one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States. It is caused by the breakdown of Uranium in the soil and can seep into your home through the foundation and collect in poorly ventilated areas. Radon can exist anywhere, but it is more common in certain geographic areas as mapped by the CDC. If you are aware of the existence of radon in your home, you must disclose that fact by completing the radon disclosure.
Mold: Some people have a strong sensitivity to mold and can have severe allergic reactions to even the slightest amount. Others have little or no reaction to the mold spores. The mold disclosure indicates whether you have knowledge of the existence of mold in your home.
Any of these defects will have an impact on the value if your home. So, it’s best to identify and address as many of these issues as possible prior to listing your home for sale so that you can confidently declare that your home is free of any and all material defects.