A sellers disclosure document is crucial for both sellers and buyers. When a homeowner sells a house, they need to disclose information important to the state of the property in a written document. The idea is to disclose issues with your house that may have an impact on its price or desirability. These requirements differ from state to state.
If you are a homeowner in Texas, what should you disclose to your potential buyer? Here’s an overview.
Sellers disclosures Texas
Sellers disclosure in Texas is regulated by Texas Property Code Section 5.008. As a seller, you need to include the following things in Texas sellers disclosures:
You will need to inform the buyer about the relevant items in and around your property and if any of those needed repairs. This includes:
- Security systems
- Septic systems
- Garages, fences, and other fixtures
- Cooling and heating systems
- Emergency escape staircases, fire detectors
- Recreational features like pools, fireplaces, grills, pool heaters, etc.
- Energy and water suppliers
Smoke detectors are important to reveal in sellers’ disclosures in Texas. The Lone Star State takes its smoke detectors seriously because people can die due to broken or missed alarms. So, it is important to disclose if your house has a detector in good working condition or not.
Certain conditions of the house may cause harm to the people living there. There it is important to mention these problems in sellers’ disclosures. These include:
- Lead paint
- Aluminum wiring
- Inefficient drainage
- Hazardous waste
- Drains people may get trapped in
- Past structural or ceiling repairs
- Past damage from water, fires, termites, etc
Also, if your property lies near a landfill, fault line, or sinkhole, which is a potential health hazard, you need to let the buyer in on this information.
You need to disclose all the things that are wrong with the house like foundation, plumbing, wiring, ceilings, roof, walls, floors, etc.
Things that are wrong with other structures like driveway, and garage also need to be mentioned in the sellers disclosure Texas.
Flood Conditions & Support
Water damage is a serious problem and can make a property unlivable. So, if your house sits in an area prone to floods, has been flooded earlier, or demands flood insurance, you need to cite this information in your sellers’ disclosure.
You also need to mention if you have ever received services from any agency to repair the damage from the flood.
Equipment & Systems Demanding Repairs
Your furnace could be smelling funny from rust or a mouse nest. Or your pump could be leaky. All that needs repairing should be revealed to the buyer because either of you will have to mend those issues.
There are several laws about what residents can and cannot do in the coastal areas of Texas. So, if your property is near the sea, you will have to ask a government official about how that impacts the sellers’ disclosures.
Co-use, Compliance, and Comfort
This category covers many things. Your sellers’ disclosure Texas has to talk about any legal issues that may land the new owner in soup. These issues include lawsuits regarding your house, systems that are not as per government codes, structures you erected without permission, and government ordinances you breached.
Co-use addresses part of your property that is in sharing with others. For example, your driveway might be shared with the neighbors or your house is in a groundwater conservation district.
You also need to mention if you pay for any monthly HOA or neighborhood fee, which may have an impact on their future cost of living.
Comfort includes anything on the property that may bring harm to the buyer’s health and wellbeing. So, if your backyard is a breeding ground of mosquitoes let them know. And other similar things too.
The military has several bases in Texas. You need to mention in the disclosure if there is a military installment near your property and how this can affect the use of the property for the buyer.
People get psyched out by ghost stories and deaths. If they happen to find out that there has been an abnormal death on the property, this may be a deal-breaker for them. This is the reason, Texas law mandates sellers to disclose two types of death.
You need to share with the buyer if a person has died due to a violent crime or due to a condition of your home. For example, if a death has occurred due to drowning in the creek at the backside of your house, then the buyer should be informed about it as it could be dangerous.
Dangerous Underground Substances
If you are selling undeveloped land and the buyer wants to build a house on it, you need to inform them about any underground substances that could be a potential hazard. For example, if during construction, the crew digs up a natural gas pipeline then it will be your fault.
Sellers disclosures Texas cover many things, however, you can include anything else that you want. The law requires that sellers should fill the disclosures to the best of their ability as the state considers it to be their job. You can seek the help of your real estate agent to help you navigate through this.