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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 1/2/2018

Honesty is the best policy when youíre selling your home. There can be messy legal consequences when it comes to not disclosing problems contained within your home. If youíre unsure if you should disclose something, you probably should reveal it. Legally, hereís what youíll need to be concerned about in your home as a seller:


A Death On The Property


Some would refer to these as ďemotional defects.Ē A murder, suicide or violent crime occurred on the property most likely needs to be disclosed. If a death is more than 3 years old, it may not need to be discussed. If a buyer asks about it however, even crimes that occurred on the property more than 3 years ago must be exposed. 


The Use Of Lead Paint 


This is a must when it comes to seller disclosures. Any homes built before 1978 must have a lead paint disclosure signed. This is a federal law that applies to every state. Even if lead paint has been removed, the former presence of it must be revealed. If you are completely unaware of lead paint issues, you arenít legally required to provide the information. In this area, itís best to be honest.   


Got Ghosts? 


There truly is no disclosure too big or too small when it comes to selling your home. You may not think of paranormal activity as something you must reveal, but everything is important. If you believe your house is haunted or if an exorcism has been done to the home, buyers should know about it. Many states have laws that include the obligation to disclose all known facts about a home. Even if you think itís a silly issue, it could be important to discuss with potential buyers.


Property Drainage Issues 


If your basement gets flooded or your backyard gets standing water, you need to expose that in the disclosure. Even if you believe an issue has been fixed, adding what has been done to documents can help to save you legal trouble later on. If you believe an issue has been resolved, at least the buyer has the information on hand as to what they might expect.


Unwanted Houseguests


Sellers are required by law to disclose any pest issue or infestation. Any types of creatures that have been found in the home like bedbugs, snakes, mice, or bats are an issue that must be shown on the disclosure. Even if the building has had the pests but you have not personally seen them, itís a good idea to tell buyers about it to cover yourself.


Disputes With Neighbors


Itís wise to disclose neighborly disputes with potential buyers. This is especially true if it involves your property lines and fences. Even small issues can become big ones, so itís always best to reveal them upfront.     





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 11/8/2016

Preparations that you take to get your house up to code standards, improve its functionality, cleanliness and appearance could yield a successful home sell. Give yourself enough time to complete the preparations identified below. It could shorten the time that it takes you to sell your current house.

  • Clean up. Toss out unnecessary items, old furniture, accessories, old clothes and gadgets that are only taking up space. If you havenít used a product in two years or more, you probably donít need it.
  • Perform necessary repairs, such as sealing cracks, replacing bubbled floor tiles and repairing leaking pipes. Be honest and repair areas of your home that potential buyers may not spot or focus on. This includes insulation, wiring and roofing issues. Treat potential buyers to the same respect and care that you want when you start shopping for your next home.
  • Paint. Apply neutral colors to your walls. Loud colors might highlight your personality. But, they could also turn away buyers.
  • Get your house inspected. Ensure that you have made all necessary repairs and that your house meets local coding standards. Use the fact that your house has been inspected and meets code standards as a marketing tool.
  • Find a licensed and experienced real estate agent to partner with. The more the real estate agent knows the area where you live, the better. That expanded knowledge will help the realtor to alert potential buyers, particularly people who are venturing into a new area for the first time, to dining, entertainment, academic, historic and other highlights in or near where you live. Partnering with a real estate agent who has an active license gives you the confidence that youíre working with a realtor who is current on regulations impacting the industry.
  • Save time and commissions fees by working with the same real estate agent who sells your house to find your next home. Avoid taking on two mortgages.
  • Research the market. Talk with friends and colleagues and, of course, leverage your realtorís knowledge to set a price on the house that youíre selling. You want the price to be competitive for buyers yet profitable for you.
  • Advertise your home online and offline. Ask your realtor to tell you good places to advertise that your house is for sale. Itís an interactive world. Take advantage of this and create a walk-through video of your house. Donít forget to show pictures and videos of the outside of your home as well.
  • Stage your home similar to how apartments stage their model units.
Practice patience. As tempting as it is to accept the first offer, you may be able to get a better deal. Stick as close as you can to the price that you set for your house early in the home selling process. Also, make sure that the amount you sell your house for covers any outstanding debts that you owe your mortgage lender. Repairs and upgrades that you make to your house could position you to recoup enough from the sale of your house to cover closing costs and a portion of the down payment on your next home.