Disclosure documents in real estate require you as the seller to list any known issues with the property and remodeling projects undertaken by the current owners. The disclosure process does not exist only to protect the buyer. It is essential to understand that sellers benefit significantly from this step in any real estate transaction. Read on to learn what you need to know about disclosures when selling your home in New Jersey.
While this document provides the buyer with a statement of your property knowledge, your disclosure does not replace the traditional real estate transaction inspection. When the buyers receive the disclosure, they will review the information at the same time they will be ordering their inspection of the property. You should be aware that your disclosure will enable your buyer to direct the inspector towards any areas of concern when selling your home in New Jersey. Are there windows or doors or appliances with problems, a leaking roof, or any faults in the foundation? Are the systems in the home functioning correctly, such as the furnace? You should also disclose any pest infestations or mold, any renovations completed without permitting, repairs, or insurance claims. Additionally, you should report any environmental hazards which could affect the property or upcoming changes nearby that would infringe upon full enjoyment. Ordering a professional inspection is a wise move when you are selling your New Jersey home. When you are considering selling is the best time to learn just what you may be facing when it comes to disclosure by hiring an inspector. Knowing your property’s truth in advance will also give you the freedom to decide about investing time and money to resolve any issues. The inspection could reveal unknown problems and protect you from the worst-case scenario. If you want to save valuable time, be upfront with issues and allow your potential buyer to do their homework on the property, avoiding wasted time on buyers may walk away from the bargaining table.
While the timing may vary by state or locality, buyers will typically receive the disclosure statements once their offer is accepted. The buyers will be required to sign off on the disclosure and any accompanying reports. It can cost you a great deal if you do not complete disclosures when selling your home in New Jersey before closing. Even if you were not aware of a problem, you would be responsible. If you should find yourself wondering if you should disclose an issue, you probably should. It is wise to err on the side of caution, and taking the time to check with a professional to be sure your concern is legitimate is never a bad idea. You could be facing legal ramifications about defects or flaws that went undisclosed should the buyer find issues after the sale. The buyers could sue you for breach of contract or intentional misrepresentation. Not only could you owe for damages, but should it be determined you committed fraud by knowingly deceiving your buyers, there is also a potential for the amount of the damages to be multiplied. The amount you could owe in damages could be staggering, not to mention paying any attorney fees. It is improbable that the insurance carried on your home would cover these costs. Should the worst happen and you receive a letter of demand for damages from an attorney after the sale of your home, you must take quick legal action to protect yourself. You do not want to discuss this with the buyer or their legal counsel, as they could use it against you in a lawsuit.
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