Know Your Real Estate Disclosure Laws Before You Sell Your Home

 

When deciding to sell a piece of Maine real estate, there are certain things you must disclose about the property to the buyer before the sale can go through.

Disclosure laws are put in place to protect the buyer from unknowingly purchasing defective property. Not disclosing certain information about the property can jeopardize the sale, or worse, invite a lawsuit.

This has become more of an issue lately as some sellers are tempted to gloss over deficiencies in the home they are selling in order to try to get a higher sales price.  In fact, a recent poll of real estate agents showed that 75% of agents ranked non-disclosure among the “top three current and future issues.”

What You May Need To Disclose

The main items that need to be disclosed are any defects with the home. This includes, but is not limited to, plumbing problems, water leaks, cracks in the foundation, insect infestations and toxic materials in the home — such as lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide or mold.

Be sure to fully disclose anything that may be pertinent to the buyer before purchase. Some disclosure laws include reporting issues with neighbors and whether the home has a criminal or notorious past.

If you are unsure about some information regarding your real estate, one option would be to state that you do not know that specific information. Remember though, if you knowingly withhold information, it may cause the sale to fall through or could be used against you in a lawsuit.

Does It Make Sense To Have A Pre-Inspection Done?

Sellers can also have their home inspected prior to placing the property on the market to prevent any surprises of unknown problems with the home. This way, defects can be fixed before listing the property, and the disclosure form can state the problem has been fixed. Buyers will almost surely want an inspection prior to closing, and a pre-inspection may suffice.

Disclosing information does not mean the seller needs to fix the problem. Any disclosed problems with the real estate can become a negotiation point. Remember, the most important thing is to be honest about any known issues with the property.

Real estate disclosure laws may be different depending on the state in which you live. The best way to know what you need to disclose in your area is to check with your trusted real estate agent or property attorney and discuss any potential property issues with them before you fill out the seller disclosure form.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Pricing Your Home To Sell

Don't Make These Common Mistakes When Pricing Your Home For SaleIt can be very difficult to determine what your property is worth in the current marketplace, because you are biased by what the property is worth to you. These emotions can get in the way of impartially evaluating a property and often cause sellers to overprice their home.

When pricing your property, you need to be objective and reasonable so you can come up with a selling price that will capture the interest of buyers.

Here are a few examples of common mistakes people make when pricing their house for sale.

Reading Too Much Into Online Comparable Properties

Avoid relying too much on online pricing information of sold houses. They can be a perfect place to start for getting a general idea of how much real estate is worth, but they are not always accurate.

Overestimating The Market

Don’t assume that you can sell your house for the same price at which you purchased it. Unless you bought your house a few weeks ago, the real estate market may have changed — sometimes significantly — and the purchase price will not reflect the appropriate pricing for today.

Overpricing To Pad For Future Negotiation

Don’t overprice your Maine home in order to be able to negotiate to the price you want to settle on. Of course, you want to get an appropriate value from it, but many first-time buyers are on tight budgets and will rule out higher-priced houses. Your over-priced property may sit on the market longer and then the price will have to be reduced anyway.

Factoring In The Cost Of Your New Home

Don’t factor in the cost of your next house. Your listing price should not reflect how much money you’d need to purchase your next property. The price of the house should be the same whether you are wealthy or broke. Your financial situation is irrelevant to the potential buyer of the property.

These are just a few common mistakes you should avoid when determining the price of your home. Listed at the right price, you will get a fair amount from the sale of the house and the buyer will be getting a reasonable price too.

As always, your local Maine real estate professional will have the best advice on getting your home ready for the market and selling for the best price.  Call them today to find out the details!