What Is A Material Fact In North Carolina And Do I Have To Tell?

Real Estate Agent with Helen Adams Realty 266836

Time and time again this question tends to come up....what is a material fact in a real estate transaction? Unfortunately a lot of buyers and sellers do not understand or know what constitutes a material fact.....and thus their agents do not either and it can lead to complications down the road.

A material fact as defined in Real Estate, is a fact that might have caused a buyer or seller of real estate to make a different decision with regards to remaining in a contract or to the price paid or received for the said property.

An example would be that I am listing a home for sale. In conversation with the seller of the home they inform me that the house had major water damage when a pipe broke about a year ago. I know that the damage had been repaired....but do I owe it to potential buyers to inform them that there was significant water damage to the house? Would it affect the value that they feel the house is worth? Would it affect whether they put an offer in on the house? The answer to all of those questions is yes.

On the property disclosure statement it asks a lot of pertinent questions in regards to issues that would be a material fact to the house....That is why some agents scrutinize the property disclosure statement carefully. But not everything is listed on that form.....

But a home owner is not required to disclose any material facts. however; as a Real estate agent we are required by law to disclose any know n material facts about the house that could affect the value of the house or the buyer/seller decision to buy or sell the house.....

With that said, most sellers tell their Realtors what is wrong with the house. I know that I ask every time I have a listing if there was anything they did to the house or any repairs that were done to the house....Based on those answers you can probe a little more to find out if the repairs were done out of normal maintainence and wear and tear or if they were done because of an issue that was found out because of the damage.....

By not asking these questions a lot of Realtors feel what they do not know they cannot tell...But the reality is that our job is to know and find out and ask the questions. If we are not doing that; then we are not doing our job.

As a seller you need to careful...if we are not asking you the questions are we asking the listing agent the questions on the house you are considering buying?

I am a strong believer in Karma...What goes around comes around...By treating people the way we would want to be treated removes all doubt and confusion form the transaction.....

Dave diCecco

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