What Are Home Sellers Required to Disclose?

What Are Home Sellers Required to Disclose?Are you gearing up to sell your home? Then you should know that there are certain things you are legally required to disclose to potential buyers. If you don’t, you could find yourself in legal or financial hot water. While disclosure regulations vary by state, here are some main issues you are required to tell buyers.

Lead paint

The most important disclosure you need to make – and one that is a federal law — is whether or not your home may contain lead paint. How do you know if your home has lead paint? If it was constructed before 1978, you need to have it checked by a professional and both buyer and seller must sign a disclosure. Agents are also required to provide a pamphlet from the EPA about how to deal with lead-based paint. If your home was built after 1978, you’re in the clear.

Crime or death

In some locations, sellers are required to disclose whether or not a crime or death has happened on the property. If you’re a buyer, you can even check the address for yourself at this website for a fee.


Most states require that sellers disclose if there are any infestations or problems with pests in the home. This can include mice, bats, raccoons and snakes. In most transactions, sellers are required to have a termite inspection. Section one items are required to be fixed.  Section one items noted in a pest inspection report where there is evidence of active infestation, infection or conditions that have resulted in or from infestation or infection.

Water damage

If you have a basement that floods or a roof that leaks, it is important that you make these issues known. Make sure to provide copies of insurance claims or receipts if water damage is an issue you’ve addressed in the past.

Toxic materials

If water has entered your home, it could lead to mold – which is another issue you need to disclose. While most homes contain mold of some kind, it is black mold that can be toxic and needs to be disclosed. This includes whether or not you’ve done mold remediation in the past. Other types of toxic materials that need to be disclosed are radon in basements and asbestos in insulation. Buyers have the option to have a mold inspection.

Disputes with neighbors

Is part of your fence on the neighbor’s property, or is their fence on yours? Have you had any disputes with neighbors over property lines? These issues should be disclosed. In addition, while it may not be required, you may want to be upfront if there are any other issues with the neighbors. This could include if they have frequent loud parties late into the night or a particularly aggressive and loud dog.

Every City Has Specific Disclosures

As real estate professionals The Begley Team is well versed in what disclosures are needed here in Southern California. Each city requires different disclosures and we will walk you through the process. We will have your back the entire time..  When in doubt, honesty is generally the best policy. By disclosing all known major issues upfront, you are protecting yourself from possible litigation in the future. With over 40 years in the business we have never had a dispute. Strength, integrity and trust are the pillars upon which Berkshire Hathaway was founded, and we pride ourselves on adhering to the highest standard of professional and personal ethics. Our clients can act with confidence, knowing that their  real estate needs will be handled in a professional and highly efficient manner.

Compliments of Brandon Begley | The Begley Team | Berkshire Hathaway California Properties | Demand Excellence | Over 1,600 homes sold since 1975  (818) 368-0290 | www.BegleyTeam.com | Voted top Los Angeles REALTORS® by Los Angeles Magazine- 2012-2016.

Get your Instant Home Value…