Do you have to disclose all repairs?
If you own a home and have made major repairs to bring the home to a safe and great condition, do you need to tell buyers about it?
This is a good question to ask. It is wise to know what you are legally required to disclose about your home as a home seller before listing your home. Many states require that a seller disclose the current and known property defects of a home, but what if you fixed something? Do you have to still disclose it?
There is more of a gray area where repaired defects come into play. You do not want to tell every little detail of disrepair about your home because it could scare buyers off, but you also don’t want to be accused of hiding anything should an issue pop up in the inspection or further down the road after they have purchased the home.
The first thing a home owner preparing to sale their repaired home should do, is look into the disclosure form provided by the state the home is in. Some states may not have them. If there is a disclosure form for your state it will likely ask if there is a current problem with the home that you are aware of and if the home had any problems in the past. If your state has this form the process is straightforward. A homeowner will need to disclose issues about the home to the extent that the disclosure form requires.
If you live in a state that does not have a disclosure form for home sales, or if there is no requirement to disclose, it is good to ask these questions:
Does this repair require future ongoing maintenance?
Is the fixed problem something that may occur again in the future?
Was it an issue that would have significantly impacted the value of the home before the problem was repaired?
For example: if you made major structural repairs to your home after the hurricane a buyer will appreciate knowing about this. Knowing how the repairs were made, if they were done by a licensed professional, if it is permitted, what materials were used, and if more safety measures were added are all things that can add to a successful sale of your home.
If any of the answers to the above questions were yes it is a good idea to let buyers know about these things. Like in the example above, it can actually boost a buyer’s confidence to know the home is currently in great condition.
If the defect is something small like a leak under the kitchen sink and you had a plumber come fix it, this is not really something that needs to be disclosed. Most buyers are going to expect that a home has had things like this, it’s just part of owning a home.
If you are unsure about disclosing a repair on your home it is a good idea to talk to an experienced and trustworthy real estate agent.