It’s not uncommon for your clients and even other agents to get confused about Texas seller’s disclosure rules. Here are four issues you may encounter.
Misconception #1: Sellers are only allowed to use the Texas Real Estate Commission’s promulgated disclosure notice.
Fact: Sellers can use TREC’s Seller’s Disclosure of Property Condition, Texas REALTORS® Seller’s Disclosure Notice (TXR 1406), or a different disclosure form as long as it meets the minimum statutory disclosures required by Texas law. TREC’s form helps sellers meet the statutory requirements. The members-only Texas REALTORS® form includes these minimum disclosures but adds extra details that can reduce your seller’s risk of a disclosure dispute.
Misconception #2: Sellers aren’t allowed to complete a disclosure notice unless it’s for a single-family property.
Fact: The Texas Property Code requires a seller’s disclosure for residential real property comprising not more than one dwelling unit. However, sellers with other types of properties, like a duplex, can still be liable for material defects the seller has knowledge of. In situations such as this, completing a seller’s disclosure—though not required—can help reduce a seller’s risk.
Misconception #3: Once sellers complete a disclosure notice and provide it to the buyers, they shouldn’t update it even if they find out new information about the property.
Fact: Sellers should disclose known material information about the property’s condition even if those conditions were discovered after providing the disclosure notice. Sellers aren’t required to update the first notice and can complete the members-only Update to Seller’s Disclosure Notice (TXR 1418).
Misconception #4: It’s OK if an agent completes the seller’s disclosure notice if the seller directs the agent to do so.
Fact: The seller’s disclosure is for the seller—not the real estate agent. While you can provide the form and answer your clients’ questions, you should not complete the form for a seller.