When you sell your house, there are several disclosures that you must provide to the buyer. The purpose of these disclosures is to inform the buyer of any known defects or problems they may encounter. Failure to provide the proper disclosures could have severe consequences.

The following details what disclosures a buyer must receive to remain in compliance.

Lead-based paint disclosure

According to FindLaw, if you or someone else built your house before 1978, you must provide disclosure regarding lead-based paint. This specific requirement comes from the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. Under this Act, you must do the following.

  • Allow buyers 10 days to test the residence for lead paint
  • Provide buyers with a disclosure statement concerning lead paint and other potentially dangerous components
  • Insert legal information regarding lead-paint into the sale contract
  • Give buyers the required pamphlet from the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Secure the signatures of yourself and the buyers to show legal compliance
  • Retain the signed disclosures for at least three years following the sale

Other important disclosures

According to real estate law, you must disclose any problem with your house that you are aware of including defects and other information that may persuade a buyer one way or another. That is not to say, however, that you must search the entire house for problems that you are currently unaware of.

Some people do hire an inspector to help them disclosure properly, but it can be a double-edged sword. For example, an inspector may discover a new problem with your house. Alternatively, an inspector’s report may also protect you if the buyer claims you did not disclose a problem.