What Happens If I Don't Disclose A Home Defect?

Reblogger Ron Cooks
Real Estate Agent with The Real Estate Marketplace TX# 584631

Doug issues a warning that must not be overlooked by either the seller or their agent. After reading his post you'll find that it is much safer to overdisclose a home defects than under. 

Original content by Doug Rogers BROK.995683208

Doug Rogers Bayou Properties Realty

 A recent listing appointment turned awkward when it came time for the sellers to complete the home condition disclosure. In Louisiana sellers must complete a property condition statement at the time of listing. This form simple asks the sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of.

 Apparently one spouse was more aware of the home's blemishes than the other. The husband was racing through the form checking "no defect" at the speed of light. As is usual the case the wife was the voice of reason. "Honey, don't you remember that the pipe under the house leaks. You were under there just last week". The look on his face was priceless! Let's examine what might have happened had the sellers not truthfully disclosed the defect...

1) Possibly nothing-- There is a chance the new owners would not find the problem until much later, then fix the problem themselves. Nobody would be the wiser, except the previous owners who sold their home on a lie...

2) The Buyers discover the defect during inspections-- in which case the seller will likely be asked to repair the problem. Or perhaps this is the straw that breaks the deal's back and they walk. How's that lie looking now?

3) The problem is discovered AFTER closing-- Keep in mind AS-IS does not cover fraud. If the seller knew of the problem odds are they will be in some trouble. We live in a small market. That plumber who came to your property last year may be the same person who comes out for the new owners. "I was at the Miller home last year. He told me he was going to cover up the leak." Believe it or not I have seen this happen. Think a plumbing leak is expensive? Go price an attorney...

 When in doubt, disclose. Buyers understand that every home has a few winkles. If properly documented, there is no need for small defects to deter a serious buyer.

 Need help selling your home? Call Doug Rogers with Bayou Properties Realty today at (318) 613-1994.

Doug Rogers Bayou Properties Realty

Doug Rogers

Associate Broker

Bayou Properties Realty


Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Disclosure is the only way to go.  It protects the seller and the real estate agent.  Just because declsoure may not be required it is still the safe route.

Mar 11, 2012 11:31 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Ron, Not disclosing defects opens the door for a huge headache.  Not only is is dishonest, the sellers have a duty to disclose.  Disclosure is the right thing to do. It serves no one to attempt to hide anything!

Mar 12, 2012 05:57 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ron it is never good to lie, unfortunate some people end up learning that the hard way.

Mar 12, 2012 08:45 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

My mom always said "A lie will always catch up with you,"!  We have a seller's disclosure as well.  It is funnny to see how some owners will just go through the form and disclose "unknown".... and others will really take the time and fill it in as honestly as they can.

Mar 13, 2012 06:10 AM