Sellers must provide specific information about the property they are selling. If they don’t, whether on intention or by accident, they may find themselves in legal trouble. You presumably already know that you must report obvious faults to a buyer, but some of the other disclosure obligations may surprise you. You must, however, follow all applicable state and local laws. Continue reading to learn about the top five things you should disclose when selling a home in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area.
1. Neighborhood Nuisances
The first one may come as a shock, but when selling a home in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area, you’ll need to inform the buyer about local annoyances. “A noise or odour from a source outside the property that could irritate the property’s residents,” for example, are common nuisances that must be disclosed. Here are a few instances of what I mean…
“North Carolina requires sellers to disclose noises, odors, smoke, or other nuisances from commercial, industrial, or military sources that affect the property.”
“Michigan requires sellers to disclose farms, farm operations, landfills, airports, shooting ranges, and other nuisances in the vicinity, but Pennsylvania leaves it up to the buyer to determine the presence of agricultural nuisances.”
The neighborhood-nuisance disclosure requirement, then, varies from locality to locality and is also susceptible to interpretation. So if you have any questions about this, be sure to contact a Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area agent at (708) 480-1439.
2. Health Hazards
As you likely know, you also need to disclose health hazards when selling a house in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area, especially an older house.
Lead paint is a common problem in this area, according to industry specialists. “This is a critical issue to fix, especially if your home was constructed prior to 1978. It makes no difference whether the lead paint has been removed or not; you must advise potential buyers that your property was formerly painted with lead. The disclosure of lead paint is required by federal law.”
But the law requires you to disclose only those issues that you’re aware of. “As the seller, you are not required to investigate whether or not lead paint has been used inside the home.”
Radon and asbestos are two more major health hazards/toxic elements discussed in disclosures. “It would be in your best interest as a seller to inform the customer if you are aware of any of these dangerous materials.”
3. Death in the House
This disclosure requirement varies from state to state in the details, but you may need to disclose the fact that someone died in the home if you’re selling a house in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area.
Typically, “A seller is required to reveal deaths that are related to the property’s condition or violent crimes… If, for example, a prior occupant’s child drowned in the pool because it lacked a safety fence, the seller would be required to disclose the death even if the safety concern had been resolved.”
You are not required to report a death in the home if the deceased person died due to “natural circumstances.” However, it may be preferable to be honest about it. “Buyers will always hear things from their neighbours, and the surprise may drive them to pull out of a purchase contract or worry what else the seller is hiding.”
4. Draining Issues and Water Damage
When selling a house in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area or anywhere else, you’re required to disclose any drainage problems and/or water damage. It’s a common problem, and also one that sellers often try to cover up – but they shouldn’t.
“Water damage from drainage difficulties is widespread in homes, and it’s also one of the issues that homeowners try to conceal the most when selling. This is not recommended, however, as it can easily lead to mould for the new residents of the house over time. The best thing to do in this situation is to be honest with the possible buyer about any prior or current drainage concerns you may have had or are having. The buyer will be aware of the situation and will be able to fully prepare for it.”
5. Structural Defects and Systems Issues
And anyone selling a house in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area not only should but also has to disclose any structural defects and problems with the major systems.
In an ideal world, you (as a seller) would fix structural issues before listing, but this may not be possible. In such instance, you’ll have to disclose those issues, such as foundation fissures, sinking, and roof leaks, in the disclosure. “You should also mention whether or not you have dealt with similar problems before. Nobody wants to buy a house with a bad foundation.”
And then there are the major home systems – plumbing, electrical, HVAC. Because problems with these systems can be very costly to fix, you’ll have to include them in the disclosure.
Get the Assistance You Need for Selling a House in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area
As we indicated before, a full disclosure of any issues with your home is required by law. And, while significant, what we’ve stated here isn’t everything. Your Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area agent, on the other hand, can assist you by providing the necessary guidance to ensure that you are in accordance with local and state legislation. So, if selling a home in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicago Illinois Area is on your mind, give us a call at (708) 480-1439 right now.