Selling Your Home? A Seller's Agent Is In Your Best Interest
If you are thinking of selling your home, you may be tempted to save money and sell it yourself, but unless you are well-versed in real estate law, that may not be a good idea. Here's three things you should know first.
Selling A Home "As Is" Won't Protect You
You may have been told by someone or read on the internet that by slapping those two little words on, you can protect yourself from future litigation. If you know something is wrong with the home and don't let prospective buyers know that, you can be sued. Don't let your desire to sell your home prevent you from being truthful and potentially put you in financial jeopardy down the road.
Know Your State Laws
The laws governing disclosure vary from state to state. Typically, anything that could be considered a major problem, anything that could affect the value of the property, and anything you are aware of, even if it is a minor problem, should be mentioned to the prospective buyer.
Oddly, in most states, only a verbal disclosure is required. A few require a written disclosure. Regardless of the laws governing your state, it's better to be safe than sorry and write down anything you need to disclose. Don't forget to disclose those things required by federal law, such as the possibility of lead paint or the presence of asbestos. Even a problem you had years ago should be mentioned if it is major. For example, if the basement flooded in the past during a bad storm and a plumber came to address the issue, this should be disclosed.
You also may be required to divulge the history of the home as well. For example, some states require you to disclose any paranormal activity, murders, or even natural deaths. You don't want the hint of a ghost or demonic activity wrecking your credit. Because you can't be expected to know everything that may be wrong with your home, you have some leeway. But if there is a record of a repair or service visit and you don't disclose the issue, you could find yourself in legal hot water if the new homeowner comes back on you for non-disclosure.
A home with unpaid taxes, questionable title ownership, tax or other liens, such as those placed by mechanics or unpaid bills, property line disputes, and any other legal issue must typically be resolved before selling.
These are just a few of your legal responsibilities when selling your home. There are others, such as disclosing nearby registered sex offenders. Unless you have the time to research the relevant real estate laws that pertain to your home, your money is better spent on employing a seller's agent now rather than an attorney in the future.
For more information, contact a company like RE/MAX MOUNTAIN REALTY.