When it comes to real estate disclosures, it’s important to be as transparent as possible with both buyers and sellers.
In Maryland, as in most other states, sellers are required to provide certain disclosures to buyers. These disclosures help buyers make informed decisions about whether or not to purchase a property.
Sellers who do not provide these disclosures can be held liable for any damages that occur as a result of the buyer’s reliance on the information that was not disclosed.
In our latest post, we cover the legal real estate disclosures you’ll have to disclose in Maryland when you want to sell your home and stay out of legal trouble. When in doubt, please consult a real estate attorney regarding any questions pertaining to sale of your home.
Maryland’s Real Estate Disclosures
When selling real estate in Maryland, sellers must disclose certain information to buyers. This includes information about the condition of the property, any known defects, and whether there are any pending lawsuits against the property.
It is not only beneficial to be a truthful seller in order to avoid a lawsuit, but it will prevent undue delays in the timeline of the sale of your house
. If you try to cover up any latent defects or known problems with the home, it will eventually come back and have negative consequences.
What Happens if a Seller Fails to Disclose Property Defects?
If a seller in Maryland real estate fails to disclose known defects to the buyer, they could be sued by the buyer and the buyer could cancel the contract if the transaction hasn’t been finalized yet.
Remember, YOU CAN GET SUED for not disclosing know defects to buyers. Disclosures are incredibly important when you want to sell your home via For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
If you are found to be at fault, you will be responsible for paying for repairs, legal expenses, punitive damages, and in some cases, the sale can be reversed.
Common Real Estate Disclosure Issues in Maryland
The majority of real estate lawsuits are the result of non-disclosure.
How much do you need to legally disclose? Anything that could affect the value of the property.
Here are just a few of the things you should address:
- Issues with the land, such as drainage, bad soil, and potential for flooding. Bad soil can limit building and low-lying areas can be prone to flooding and water damage.
- Foundation level and known cracks must be disclosed. If the house settles more than it already has, it could experience structural damage.
- Plumbing problems, sewer issues, and leaky pipes all need to be brought to the forefront. Some of the most expensive home repairs stem from water damage.
- Any problems or irregularities with the heating and cooling systems should be addressed.
- If you have a problem with cockroaches, rats, ants, termites or moles, you will need to inform your potential buyer.
- Have a leaky roof or missing shingles? Tell your buyer before they find out during a rainstorm.
- Lead paint is a no-brainer. This disclosure is one of the most common you will see with home sales and rentals.
- Are there issues that will affect the title? Or rightful ownership? This needs to be spelled out up front, not during the closing process.
- You should also have documentation for repairs and insurance claims you’ve made in the past. You should be able to describe what was done and the materials used.
Some states will require more information about areas that could be hazardous, like if the property is in a place that’s prone to flooding or earthquakes.
Just imagine what you would want to know if you were buying a property for yourself. Disclosures help a buyer learn as much as possible about a house before making their purchase.
Keep something to yourself, a simple, minor, needed repair can snowball in much bigger problems after you sell your Maryland home.
You are selling a great home right? That’s what the buyer is thinking unless you state otherwise. Just imagine being sued because you failed to disclose a property defect you had actual knowledge of.
Many properties have something pop up during the inspection that the seller wasn’t prepared for. This is common and not a a reason worry too much. Consult with your real estate agent, attorney, or broker if you found yourself in this situation.
The Importance of Real Estate Disclosures in Maryland When Selling
Your house is a multi-faceted machine. Many sellers choose to have their home inspected prior to a sale. This allows them to make the necessary repairs ahead of time, lessening potential buyer’s bargaining ability.
An inspection will also show good-faith in selling. You are telling the world you want your home to be in the greatest possible condition before it is sold.
Your agent, attorney or broker can give you a list of needed paperwork when selling property in Maryland and what needs to be disclosed to the property buyers.
Be sure to go over the list carefully and make as many detailed notes as you can. Make sure to include when upgrades and repairs were done. Be truthful and fill out the form as best as you can.
When selling a house in Maryland, it is better to consult a lawyer if you have questions, as your agent may try to avoid answering them as they fall outside of their area of expertise and could result in increased liability.
How to Avoid Dealing With Disclosures
If you’re looking to sell your MD house in Lochearn or any town or county in Maryland, you must make sure that it passes inspection and is presentable to all potential buyers in Baltimore County.
However, if you want to skip the hassle of real estate disclosures in Maryland and all of that extra paperwork, you can sell your house AS-IS… meaning no Maryland disclosure paperwork!
We are Maryland cash home buyers and we offer cash for houses in Lochearn and to home sellers throughout Maryland in any situation and condition.
Since we buy houses in Maryland AS-IS, we make the house selling process simple. You can sell your Maryland house fast for cash to us at Creo Home Buyers and move on.
Are you selling your home in Lochearn MD? If you have questions, we have answers! Fill out this form, or give our office a call now! (410) 870-9228