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Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 1/2/2018

Honesty is the best policy when youíre selling your home. There can be messy legal consequences when it comes to not disclosing problems contained within your home. If youíre unsure if you should disclose something, you probably should reveal it. Legally, hereís what youíll need to be concerned about in your home as a seller:


A Death On The Property


Some would refer to these as ďemotional defects.Ē A murder, suicide or violent crime occurred on the property most likely needs to be disclosed. If a death is more than 3 years old, it may not need to be discussed. If a buyer asks about it however, even crimes that occurred on the property more than 3 years ago must be exposed. 


The Use Of Lead Paint 


This is a must when it comes to seller disclosures. Any homes built before 1978 must have a lead paint disclosure signed. This is a federal law that applies to every state. Even if lead paint has been removed, the former presence of it must be revealed. If you are completely unaware of lead paint issues, you arenít legally required to provide the information. In this area, itís best to be honest.   


Got Ghosts? 


There truly is no disclosure too big or too small when it comes to selling your home. You may not think of paranormal activity as something you must reveal, but everything is important. If you believe your house is haunted or if an exorcism has been done to the home, buyers should know about it. Many states have laws that include the obligation to disclose all known facts about a home. Even if you think itís a silly issue, it could be important to discuss with potential buyers.


Property Drainage Issues 


If your basement gets flooded or your backyard gets standing water, you need to expose that in the disclosure. Even if you believe an issue has been fixed, adding what has been done to documents can help to save you legal trouble later on. If you believe an issue has been resolved, at least the buyer has the information on hand as to what they might expect.


Unwanted Houseguests


Sellers are required by law to disclose any pest issue or infestation. Any types of creatures that have been found in the home like bedbugs, snakes, mice, or bats are an issue that must be shown on the disclosure. Even if the building has had the pests but you have not personally seen them, itís a good idea to tell buyers about it to cover yourself.


Disputes With Neighbors


Itís wise to disclose neighborly disputes with potential buyers. This is especially true if it involves your property lines and fences. Even small issues can become big ones, so itís always best to reveal them upfront.     





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi on 12/27/2016

If you have ever sold anything, you know that the better it looks, the more likely you will be successful and get more or less what you were asking. The same goes for selling your home. Setting it up to look attractive and worthy of the asking price is known as staging, and, with a little bit of work, you can do it yourself. There are companies that will come in and do this for you, but it may be cost prohibitive and will mean that you will make less money on the overall sale. First, the inside: walk around, into each room, with a notebook in hand and jot down what you see that could be improved. Do you or your family members have a lot of clothes, papers, and the like laying around? How are the closets? Stuffed and unruly? Closets can be a nightmare to clean, and often take days, so you might want to tackle those first. Downsize as much as you can, and bring the unwanted or unneeded clothes or items to Goodwill or any donation shop. There are many boxes to drop off things, but if you are donating a lot of things, go to the shop itself and get a receipt from them for a tax deduction. Next, tackle the kitchen. Put away those small appliances that you use only occasionally, and keep the countertops uncluttered and clean. Kitchen cabinets should be washed down and any loose doors tightened and handles replaced if broken. Shine everything up: kitchen sink, windows; clean the screens, wash out the microwave, and clean the oven. Finicky potential buyers will look at everything to see how much care you take of your home. The living room should be uncluttered and dust-free. Stains on the carpet and couches must be dealt with, as this will immediately turn potential buyers off. Invest in new throw pillows and maybe a coordinating throw to add a fresh, clean look to the area. Again, make sure the windows are clean, screens vacuumed, and drapes or blinds have been dusted. The bathroom areas should be attended to, also. Clean mildew off the tiles, wash the floor, mirror, countertop and the fixtures. Shine the faucets, using a dryer sheet, for extra easy shine. Put clean towels out. Remove any dirty laundry! Replace the shower curtain and bath mats with new and colorful ones, if needed. A little bit of elbow grease will pay off, hopefully, so get started. Just think of this as ďcompanyís comingĒ; you always did clean your house to make it look comfortable and enticing when expecting your in-laws, didnít you?