Are you selling a home with a few skeletons in the closet? Has the basement flooded? Was there an “incident” in the kitchen that resulted in fire damage? Was a new electrical system installed without the proper permits and inspections?
It doesn’t matter if these issues occurred yesterday or before you bought the property. If you know about any current or previous problems with the home that a buyer may not be able to see for themselves, you have to disclose that information in a legal document before the sale is finalized.
What exactly should be disclosed?
The Real Estate Council of British Columbia states that “material latent defects” must be disclosed i.e. problems that could cost a lot to fix or could affect the house value that might not come to light through a home inspection.
The Council says common examples of latent defects include “the fact that the basement leaks when it rains, structural damage to the property, failure of the building’s envelope (water ingress), underground storage tanks located on the property, problems with the potability/quantity of drinking water and any un-remediated damage caused by the illegal use of the property, e.g. marijuana grow operation.”
What can you do?
First of all, never chance it! Don’t avoid disclosing problems because you think the new owners won’t notice. They may not, but as soon as they call an electrician or plumber over, those professionals could uncover the evidence, and then you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands.
When you hire a Realtor®, discuss the issues with them, and they will tell you what exactly you are required to disclose and how you can market your home’s best assets to get the best deal for your property.
When to be up front about your problems
Any serious problems with your home are likely to become apparent to buyers either when they view the property, during a home inspection or when you sign the disclosure document.
Selling a home can take time, so to go through the motions with a buyer only to have the deal fall apart when an issue is uncovered can be a frustrating experience for both parties.
That’s why a Realtor® may recommend being up front about some problems during showings, so that the offers you receive are from serious buyers who are willing to take on those issues.
Does disclosing a problem mean I’ll get a bad deal?
Not necessarily. You may have benefited from a reduced price when you bought the home if the issue was disclosed by a previous owner. A good Realtor® will know how to price your home to reflect what a buyer will have to take on while also promoting the strongest selling features of your property, and that will help you sell your home more quickly at a fair price. If the type of home you are selling or the neighbourhood you live in is in high demand, you could still benefit from rising trends in the housing market when you sell.
If you are ready to sell your home in Prince George, BC or surrounding areas, give Team Powerhouse Realty a call!