What Do Real Estate Agents Have To Disclose When Buying or Selling a Property?

 


When buying or selling a home, the process can be nerve-wracking. Even if you’re not new to the market, you likely haven’t seen the home you’re about to purchase. The last thing you want is to inadvertently let any hidden problems with the property slip through the cracks.

 

At the same time, you don’t want to be blindsided by any unpleasant surprises either. You need to have as much information as possible to make the best possible decision. Real estate agents have a unique perspective that can help you buy or sell a property.

 

That being said, they have certain obligations that you don’t. If you’re not aware of any potential conflicts of interest, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Check out the following details to learn more about what do real estate agents have to disclose when buying or selling a property.


How Long Do Real Estate Agents Have to Disclose?

Real estate agents have a two-year legal duty to disclose any conflicts of interest. This includes the type of property you’re looking at purchasing, your situation, and any competing offers. 

 

If you find out about these issues after making an offer, you can still sue for damages. In addition to finding out about any conflicts of interest, you should also ask for the following information:

 

  • Property address, lot/unit number, and any other legal names used for the property
  • Basic facts about the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, and the year the house was built
  • A list of any previous repairs or improvements, as well as any pending repairs
  • The condition of the roof, foundation, and any other structural components
  • The condition of the HVAC/heating/air conditioning system
  • The condition of the plumbing system, including the number and location of any ongoing repairs
  • The condition of the electrical system
  • The condition of the interior of the house, including any structural components
  • Any issues with the house that could negatively impact its value, such as termite or pest damage
  • Any other issues with the house that could negatively impact its value, such as termite or pest damage


What Disclosures Do Real Estate Agents Have To Make?

There are certain things an agent has to make clear when you’re buying or selling a property. This includes things like:  

 

  • The amount of commission the agent will receive for their work 

  • How long it will take to close the deal 

  • What kind of financing terms will be used, and if financing is required 

  • Whether repairs are needed before the home can be sold or if any restrictions are in place 

  • The qualifications of any contractors hired to perform repairs 

  • Any other important information, such as whether the property is in a flood zone 

  • What to do if there are any other issues with the property, such as a termite inspection


Negotiating Tips for Buyers and Sellers

If you plan on buying or selling a property without a property dealer like Lentor Modern, you have some extra responsibilities. First, you need to make sure you have the right agent. That way, you can be sure you’re working with someone knowledgeable and experienced. 

 

You can also help yourself by knowing what you can and can’t ask the seller. For example, you can’t demand a specific price or ask the seller to sign a contract right away. 

 

You also can’t make a counteroffer right away if the seller has accepted your first offer. It would help if you waited at least a week before making a competing offer. During negotiations, you need to watch out for potential problems. By doing so, you can minimize potential issues when you close on the deal. Here are some things to watch out for:  

 

Unauthorized contracts - Make sure any contract the seller signs is authorized by the seller’s attorney. If you don’t know whether the contract is legal, you can’t be held accountable for signing it. 

 

Contracts with errors - Make sure the contract contains the correct property address, lot/unit number, and legal names. 

 

Problems with the inspection report - If the inspector finds a termite or other structural issue, the seller can withhold the sale contract from you. 

 

Problems with the HVAC/heating/air conditioning system - If the HVAC/heating/air conditioning system is broken, the seller can withhold the sale contract from you. 

 

Illegal construction - If the construction of the home doesn’t comply with the city’s building codes, the home may be subject to fines and penalties.


Conclusion

Real estate agents have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to buying and selling property. They’re supposed to make sure you’re aware of any potential problems with the property. 

 

At the same time, they don’t have to give you any specific information about their own finances or the property they’re selling. If you’re planning on buying or selling a property yourself, be extra careful. You need to make sure your attorney authorizes any contracts. You also need to make sure all the information about the property is correct. 

 

Finally, watch out for any potential problems with the property itself. If you do so, you can minimize the risk of any problems when you close on the deal.