Texas Homeowners: Are You Disclosing the Property Condition Properly When Selling?

The broken house key in hand.

Did you know that home owners in the State of Texas have a responsibility to make certain disclosures to a buyer when selling their home?  If not, then you’re not alone, and if you’ve decided to list your home for sale by owner, then you really ought to take a few minutes and find out what many other potential sellers of real estate in Texas are doing that could cost them in the long run.

The Texas property code requires seller’s of single-family homes in Texas to meet certain minimum information requirements when disclosing the condition of a home to the prospective buyer.  Why, because buyers need to be protected from unknown or unseen problems/issues with a home that they are considering for purchase.

A home owner that has lived in a house for many years or even just a few would have a much greater amount of knowledge of a home’s condition than any potential buyer and/or home inspector that had never even known the home existed up until a few days ago.  Hence, buyers need to be made aware of any and all defects that a house has, BEFORE they buy it, so that they can make an informed decision.

Some Benefits to Disclosing Properly:

Seller Benefits:

  1. You get to enjoy being a “law abiding citizen” in the State of Texas
  2. You can protect yourself against potential future lawsuits by disclosing all defects in advance
  3. You can reduce the number of requests for repairs/ seller concessions after an inspection, by notifying the buyer of any potential defects prior to the inspection.

Buyer Benefits:

  1. Obviously, a buyer is benefited by knowing all known defects about the house, so that they can make an informed purchase decision.
  2. A savvy buyer or buyers agent can use the issues found in the Seller’s Disclosure as a bargaining tool to start early in negotiating repairs BEFORE the inspection.  Then, after the formal home inspection, can negotiate once more for any other repairs that were not known prior.
  3. If something was not disclosed and should have been, the buyer has proof that it was or was not disclosed, because all parties to the transaction sign the disclosure.

How To Meet The Minimum Disclosure Requirements

TREC has made it fairly simple to meet the minimum information requirements, by providing a form called “Seller’s Disclosure of Property Condition” to potential seller’s of real estate in Texas.  The form is essentially a copy of the minimum requirements, and can be downloaded from TREC’s website here.

Don’t make the mistake that other home owners make that decided to sell their house in a hurry and without professional representation; Don’t forget to provide this form to all buyers when signing a contract.    If you wish to sell your house fast in Texas on your own, wait, don’t be rash; just contact us, because if we decide to buy your house directly from you without a middle man, we will still handle all of the paperwork, including the Seller Disclosure.

Who Doesn’t Need To Disclose?

Just a few of the exemptions from disclosure:

A New Home Builder The Lender of a Foreclosing Home The Executor/Executrix of an Estate

The benefits far outweigh the costs of providing the disclosure…go ahead, download it from TREC and look it over, fill it out if you’re required to…and give it to the buyer for review.

One Reply

  1. Deaths caused by an accident related to a condition of the property are not covered by the no duty statute and most likely need to be disclosed. This is the case even if the condition has been remedied. For example, although it could be argued that a swimming-pool death may be related to the lack of a proper pool enclosure, a seller who installs a proper pool enclosure before the property is placed on the market should still consider disclosing the death, as it was related to a condition of the property.

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