Today, home sellers in most states must fill out a form disclosing material facts about their homes. This type of disclosure could protect you from a lawsuit down the line. But what types of information should you disclose – what counts as “material facts”?
Material facts are details about the home’s condition or legal status, as well as the age of various components. If your state does not require a written disclosure, the local real estate laws probably require sellers to disclose any known problems with the home they are selling.
The following examples include details that would qualify as material facts that must be revealed by sellers about their homes:
– Damage from wood boring insects like termites
– Mold or mildew in the home
– Leaks in the roof or foundation walls
– Amount of property taxes paid annually
– Problems with sewer or septic systems
– Age of shingles and other roof components
– A buried oil tank
– Details about any individual who claims to have an interest in the property
– Information about a structure on the property that overlaps an adjacent property
Of course, not everything needs to be disclosed, such as the seller’s personal information, and the seller’s reason for moving. Then, there are factors that straddle the fence as to whether or not they count as “material.”
For instance, whether a death took place in the home or whether a home is considered haunted.
If you’re unsure of what facts to disclose, talk to your real estate agent.