So why do we need a Sellers Disclosure?
Buyer Beware! Texas is an “AS-IS” State and homes are sold without any implied warranty of condition and all sales are final unless a court rules of fraudulence. Homes are complex products and to alleviate the potential for fraud, providing Buyers a report of the Sellers Disclosure of Property Condition is a legal statutory requirement of the Seller for the sale of single family homes in Texas. For any Buyer, the most important thing to understand about a Sellers Disclosure statement is it’s not a substitute for a thorough inspection. So why do we need it? Inspectors cannot see through floors, walls, and ceilings. It puts the Seller on record as of their knowledge of the condition of the product they are selling. Both Seller and Buyer are protected by the Sellers Disclosure. The Buyer is aware of these things and the Seller is protected from any future liability if a defect is discovered that was disclosed. Willfully concealing property defects is engaging in fraudulent inducement. Also both parties must understand a defect that has been repaired is no longer a defect. Some level of judgement applies to revealing past repairs that might be perceived as an indication of future required repairs. Notably foundation repairs fall in this category. Understand there is no such thing as declaring a home sold “AS-IS” to avoid this duty to disclose. Whether the seller has lived in the home or not a Sellers Disclosure must be provided. There are exceptions for financial institutions and multi-family homes such as duplexes. For Buyers, a Sellers Disclosure does not preclude the need for a thorough inspection and can provide guidance of items of inspection that need more attention. For Sellers, a Sellers Disclosure is not only a form of legal protection. It is a selling document as well. Use it to show when critical systems have been replaced and highlight the quality of the replacement item and existing warranties.