4 Seriously Scary Legal Mistakes to Avoid in Your Home Sale

Posted by First Team Real Estate on Monday, September 26th, 2016 at 9:00am.

Once you decide to sell your home there are some small, but vital legal procedures that you may not know about. These need to be done right during the process of your sale. If you have sold a house in the past you most likely know that the process of selling personal property is very complex. 

When you are transferring a major investment to another, there are several subtle details you should take care of, otherwise they can turn into costly problems if you don't handle them correctly. One common mistake that many home sellers make is not consulting an experienced professional who is versed in the legal procedures that should be followed when selling residential properties.

Hiding concealed defects

All states require that all latent defects should be disclosed to the buyer. This includes defects on the structural system, water and sewer systems, electrical, plumbing, heat and air conditioning systems, insulation defects, infestation, and any hazardous materials.

A latent defect means any material defects in the house or an improvement that can pause as a threat to the safety or health of the home occupants, and or defects that a homebuyer cannot reasonably observe or ascertain through visual observation. Failure to disclose this information is regarded as a violation of healthcare law. Click here to learn more about basic law and courses you can take to become more familiar with them.

Failing to provide the required disclosures to the buyer

The law requires that homebuyers should be issued with Residential Property Disclosures and Disclaimer Statements on or before the signing of the contract. If a buyer is not issued with the Disclaimer Statement and the Residential Property Disclosure, then he or she can easily cancel the contract later. Remember that the Disclaimer Statements and the Residential Property Disclosures are updated every now and then, and it is your responsibility to check with the state authorities to ensure that you are using the recent version.

Not using a separate document if you agree to help finance

Most homebuyers require financial assistance, and they can sometimes request the seller to defer receipt of part of the agreed purchasing price of the property through take-back financing. To protect yourself and your investment, you should ensure that the buyer signs a separate promissory document during settlement to indicate that there is a subordinate mortgage on the property. If the promissory note is absent, you will not have any legal recourse if the buyer fails to pay.

Failing to have a contingency plan

When you are selling your house, you should plan on how you will find a new home. This means that you should include a provision that allows you to remain in your home even after the sale until you find another house. You can also indicate a contingency in the contract that states that the contract of selling your house is not valid until you find a new home.

It's easy to avoid these scary legal issues when you have a licensed and experienced real estate agent by your side. We've studied up on the legal issues, so you don't have to. 

Email us at clientservices@firstteam.com

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This guest post is written by Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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