Purchasing a home in Texas is an exciting step, and it is a significant legal and financial transaction. It is critical to make sure that you are making a decision that will not have any negative impacts on you and your family going forward. Unfortunately, some buyers find that the home they purchased is not as it seems, leaving them with expensive and complicated issues they must resolve on their own.
During the sale process, the seller is responsible for disclosing certain information about the property. This includes any issues that the buyer will need to address for safety, convenience or aesthetic reasons. Required disclosures are supposed to protect the interests of buyers and prevent the need for litigation after the sale is over. If you are purchasing a home, you will benefit from understanding specific disclosures and ensuring you have all pertinent information about your property.
What do they have to tell you?
There are certain things a buyer must tell you, but it is helpful to also understand the specific state laws that dictate how required disclosures will work in your individual situation. Some of the specific things sellers may need to tell you include:
- If there was a death in the home
- If there is a nuisance outside of the home, such as regular noise or a consistent odor
- Information about a homeowners’ association in the neighborhood
- Problems in the home that will require repair
- Missing items that are normally standard in a home, such as appliances or certain finishes
- Past water damage, location of the problem and how the owner addressed the damage
- Any hazards on the property that could cause the homeowner physical harm
As the buyer, you have the right to know exactly what you are getting into when you buy a home. Failure to get the necessary disclosures could come at a steep cost for you, as well as leaving you with the stress and inconvenience of dealing with certain problems.
Protect your rights
The possibility of problems in a home that you are considering for purchase is why many lenders require an inspection of the property as a contingency in the loan agreement. If the inspection reveals issues, it is reasonable to ask the homeowner to fix them or adjust the asking price to allow you the ability to fix the problem after the sale is final. At every step, you would be wise to consider how you can protect your rights.