There are many important aspects of selling your house, but one of the most important is to make sure you disclose all material defects of your home before you sell it. Although it seems easy to skip this step – don’t! It can cause you a lot of heartache and cash later on. Here are some tips to make sure the disclosure process goes smoothly:
- Fill out a seller’s disclosure. Your Realtor can provide you with a standard form to fill out that covers the basics, including the appliances, repairs needed or that have been done, and the general maintenance of the home. This form goes into great detail and you want to disclose everything you can. If you’ve ever had water damage, mold, or had your roof repaired you should disclose it to a new buyer. They don’t want any surprises to show up and you are best suited to make sure they have as much info as possible. It’s known that you won’t know every little thing and that’s OK. There’s a “don’t know” column on the report you can easily check. This form is also important because if, for example, your stove doesn’t work and you disclose that on the form, most forms state the seller is not responsible for repairing this item prior to closing. Of course a buyer can still try and negotiate that into the deal, but it’s better to get it out on the table right away.
- Cover yourself. If there’s an obvious defect and you choose not to disclose it, it can end up blowing your sale. If buyers find this out, they may think you’re hiding other things and it can ruin your deal. Also if you know something about the house and do not disclose it, it could come back to haunt you after the sale. The easiest way to stay out of this mess is to just be open and upfront. Buyers appreciate knowing all the facts – and it helps you sleep at night to be open and honest!
As a rule of thumb, being upfront is the best way to sell your home, making sure all parties know what is going on. However, make sure to talk to your attorney to make sure you are following all the laws and protect yourself.
Gabe Mellein was voted a Top Real Estate Agent – Exceptional in Service and Overall Satisfaction by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2012. He is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, Inc and has over 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate. Need real estate help? Please contact Gabe at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com