As a seller, avoid failure-to-disclose issues

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

Selling a home can be an exciting but difficult endeavor to undertake. Many Ohio residents want to get through the process as quickly as possible, especially if they already have another home and do not want to manage two mortgages. However, it is important not to rush through the process and make mistakes because errors, like the failure to disclose, could cause problems for the sellers in the future.

When it comes to talking about the negative aspects of a home, that topic is not generally on the top of a seller’s list. After all, sellers want to make their home seem appealing, not dissuade potential buyers from putting in an offer. Still, sellers must adhere to legal obligations relating to disclosing possible defects and other concerns.

In some cases, sellers may have to inform potential buyers about issues because federal law makes it a requirement. In other instances, state laws can make it necessary to disclose information not necessarily required in another state. Some common disclosures include the following:

  • Whether a murder, suicide or violent crime occurred in the home
  • Whether there are any pest infestations
  • Whether any paranormal activity allegedly took place in the home
  • Whether property drainage or flooding issues exist
  • Whether there is any lead paint used in the home
  • Whether any property boundary disputes are underway

It is also important to note that some information may not be a requirement for disclosure upfront, but if asked, a seller may have an obligation to inform potential buyers about issues relating to their inquiries. Complying with Ohio state laws regarding real estate disclosures is immensely important when selling property. If a serious issue comes up later that the buyers were not aware of initially, the seller could face a failure-to-disclose claim, which could lead to legal issues. As a result, sellers may want to consider working with experienced real estate attorneys to ensure that they understand their disclosure obligations.

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