Jan. 12, 2012
If you’re selling your house, why would you tell potential buyers about the stuff that’s wrong with it? Caveat emptor, right? Not so fast.
Letting the buyer fend for himself may work fine when selling your eight-track player on Craigslist, but it’s a terrible idea for a homeseller.
For starters, it’s against the law. In Texas, as in many other states, you have an obligation to disclose known problems to potential buyers. There’s even a form you must fill out.
Occasionally, though, a seller decides not to tell what he knows about the property’s shortcomings. I know this happens because I’ve read summaries of the court cases. See … while a person may not care enough to sue if he buys a used stationary bike with undisclosed flaws, things can quickly escalate to a lawsuit when a purchase in the six-figure range is based on misinformation (or missing information).
Your Texas REALTOR® can advise you how to fill out a seller’s disclosure form, who is exempt from doing so, what types of disclosures are not required, and when it’s a good idea to disclose those items anyway.