When you sell your home, you are required to disclose any information that may affect the value or the desirability of the home and the buyer’s ability to get a Kansas City mortgage. Buyers appreciate honesty from the seller, and the more upfront you are about problems with the home, the easier it is to negotiate with buyers.

What Do I Need to Disclose?

The laws vary between federal and state, but generally, you must inform buyers of:

  • Deaths in the home
  • Hazards, both environmental and natural
  • Water Damage

Disclosing deaths in the home may sound strange, but some buyers don’t like the idea of living in a place where someone has died. While you don’t necessarily have to disclose deaths from natural causes, you are required to do so if the death was due to a crime or a condition of the property.

No one likes the idea of living in a place where hazards like flooding or sewage occur. It is not only annoying, but a health risk. Buyers want to live in a safe place and a home with hazards will not do.

Finally, water damage can compromise the integrity of the home. It can be difficult to know if a home has a water problem, especially if it has not rained for some time, so be sure to talk with your local law office about protection for water issues you were not aware of at the time of sale.

This list is not all-inclusive, so please remember to talk to your local law office about what you have to disclose when selling your home. It will save you and your buyer a potential headache.

Why Do I Have to Disclose These Issues?

If you do not disclose these issues to the buyer and they are discovered later, you could be sued by the buyer for misrepresentation. The risk of a lawsuit is especially true if you signed a guarantee stating that the home was in good condition. If you straight up lied about the condition of the home, you could be sued for fraud. When selling your home, be sure to disclose whatever you can and have your home inspected.

Disclosing the items to buyers will also help them when they apply for a Kansas City mortgage. They will know that the value of the home is correct and will be able to get a mortgage that is right for them.

But What if I Didn’t Know About the Issue?

If you did not know about an issue when you sold the home, then there is no fraud or liability on your part. If a buyer notices a problem with the home after they have moved in and it was disclosed or arose some time after they moved in, then you cannot be held liable.

How Can I Avoid Surprise Issues?

You can avoid surprise issues that may be brought up by the buyer later by having your home pre-inspected. Then, you can discuss with the buyer about repairs and if they are willing to make them themselves.

Up Next: Why Should You Get a Pre-Sale Inspection Before Selling Your Home?

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.