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How to avoid legal kinks in selling your home

Home for sale with real estate sign.

At one point you were a home buyer. Now, the tables have turned and you are the home seller. What are your responsibilities to ensure a smooth sale, free of legal disputes and other issues? Continue reading to find out.

Disclosure obligations

As a seller, you are required by Texan law to disclose information about the property you’re selling using this form made by the Texas Real Estate Commission. You need to disclose the following:

  • If the property has any of the following elements: swimming pool, central air conditioning, satellite dish;
  • Known defects in any of the aforementioned special features; and
  • Previous structural issues, repairs, and other problems you’re aware of.

Note that although you are required to disclose such information, the law doesn’t require you to spend on independent inspections. You can do it if you want to be sure of the information you’ll disclose, but as far as the law is concerned, you are only required to give information you already know.

According to the Texas Property Code, you will then hand over the fully accomplished form to the buyer “on or before the effective date” of the purchase contract. This will give the buyer enough time to study the document, perhaps negotiate the price, or back out of the sale altogether.

What if you weren’t able to make property disclosures before the specified time period? The buyer can then terminate the contract within seven days after he or she has received the property disclosure notice.

Property inspection

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to call a professional home inspector to assess your property before the sale. It would, however, help you avoid legal kinks (if ever) and, most especially, make the necessary repairs and upgrades that might even boost your home’s price. Do note that the buyer might still hire another inspector to come and look at the property.

Realtor’s knowledge

Once you’ve been made aware of property defects and the entire history of the home (past issues and repairs included), it would also help to disclose such information to your real estate agent. That way, he or she can answer questions appropriately and honestly during open houses and private home tours.

Remember that your real estate agent represents you. If it was found out that your real estate agent gave wrong information or concealed property defects, the buyer can press charges for the following damages:

  • Punitive damages
  • Equitable relief
  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages

If the buyer is successful with the lawsuit, you may be required to pay damages or take certain actions as mandated by the court. In some cases, your real estate agent might even have his or her license revoked.

Work with an experienced Dumas, TX realtor!

Work with Texas real estate agents so you can have a stress-free home selling experience. If you’d like to learn more about seller obligations in Dumas, TX and Moore County, contact us today. We would be happy to guide you and eventually sell your home to the best buyer for the right price.