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A Cautionary Tale for Sellers Who Don’t Disclose

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A woman consoling a frustrated-looking man

06/26/2013 | Author: Summer Mandell

My friends recently surprised me when they found a home they loved within days of beginning their home search. They live in a hot market, so they didn’t waste any time putting in an offer.

This house has an addition my friends like, but their inspector pointed out some serious flaws with it that a structural engineer would need to address. Pushing further, my friends found out that the sellers knew about these problems and hadn’t disclosed them.       

At this point, my friends had potential recourse against the sellers. If a seller fails to make proper disclosures in a transaction, a buyer might be able to stop the transaction, or even sue the seller for damages. It’s serious stuff that the sellers could’ve avoided if they’d just disclosed the facts.

You may be wondering what I mean when I say “disclose the facts.” As a seller, you’re legally obligated under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act to disclose known material problems with your property to potential buyers, like structurally flawed additions. Additionally, for residential real property of not more than one dwelling unit, a seller is required to fill out a seller’s disclosure form, which your Texas REALTOR® can provide to you.

Disclosure is an important step in your home-selling process that can save—or cost you—thousands of dollars. Make sure you talk to your Texas REALTOR® about this important legal obligation.

Categories: Sellers
Tags: selling, disclosure, legal