Disclosure is key to the home selling process. While the form may seem overly long and confusing, it’s important to fill it out completely. If you don’t disclose certain issues or enter false information, you can file a lawsuit even after closure.

Federal, State and Local

You must comply with federal, state and local laws regarding disclosures. There aren’t many federal requirements, but a very important one is lead paint disclosure. If your home was built before 1978, should disclose all known lead paint in the home and provide potential buyers with an EPA pamphlet.

As for state and local laws, they vary across the country. Common disclosure requirements include:

  • pest infestation
  • Water infiltration
  • Mold
  • Smoke damage
  • structural problems
  • Environmental hazards
  • Dead in the house

put it in writing

disclosures should be in writing to potential buyers. Verbal disclosures, however thorough, don’t count.

Patent vs. latent

When you fill out a disclosure form, you may see the terms patent and latent. A patent defect is visible and usually does not need to be disclosed, while a latent defect is hidden and must be disclosed.

What if it’s resolved?

In most cases, even if you’ve completely fixed the problem, you still need to disclose it as part of the home’s history.

estate agents® come to the rescue

With a qualified local real estate agent®, you are much less likely to make a mistake during the disclosure process. They can help you determine what to disclose, when it’s appropriate to say you just don’t know, and more.