When selling your home, you're often faced with choosing needs to be disclosed to the home buyer. When selling in Texas, there are specific laws regarding what issues must be disclosed during the selling process. Find out what must be disclosed, how to protect yourself, and why you'll need an agent.
One part of the home selling process that doesn't get enough attention is home seller disclosures. When selling a home in Texas, it's important to understand what's legally required to disclose, to ensure you follow all local regulations and requirements.
Rules for home seller disclosures vary from state to state, with some states only requiring disclosures if specific questions are asked by the buyer.
Before selling your home, find out everything you need to know about home seller disclosures in Texas in the below guide.
Texas Seller Disclosure Requirements
Texas has a more structured home selling disclosure process than many other states. Under Texas Property Code Section § 5.008, it is stipulated that sellers "shall give to the purchaser of the property a written notice."
The Texas Real Estate Commission has a specific disclosure form sellers must fill out with the help of their real estate agent. This form must be signed by both the seller and the buyer on the same day the purchase contract is signed.
How Do You Determine What to Disclose in Texas?
While Texas has more specific requirements set for seller disclosures, what needs to be disclosed is still slightly ambiguous. To start, the seller must disclose only issues and defects they are aware of as of the signing date. This means that the seller is not required to have a pre-sale home inspection performed.
This protects sellers from being sued down the line by buyers who later uncover issues that the seller was unaware of. Unless it can be proven that the seller had knowledge of a specific defect, the disclosure form legally protects sellers.
In Texas, the burden is placed on the buyer to have a thorough inspection done prior to closing, in order to ensure any unknown issues are discovered then.
What Do Texas Sellers Need to Disclose?
Now that you know what doesn't need to be disclosed, it's important to understand the details that should be disclosed. While there are specific areas to address on the form, it's important to make the buyer aware of any specific defects relating to the building's structure, HVAC systems, or cosmetic wear. Your agent can help you better determine what issues are legally required to disclose.
In addition to home damages, Texas homeowners also should disclose the below items:
- Lead paint warnings - sellers must reveal if the home has (or could have) lead paint
- Smoke detector certificates - sellers must ensure the home has the right number of smoke detectors per room/square footage as dictated by Texas state law
In addition, some states require sellers to notify buyers if a previous owner died or was murdered in the property or if the occupant had a serious medical infection, like HIV. However, in Texas, it is not legally required to reveal these details. Texas does not require disclosure of these items, because they are not considered relevant details in regards to the home sale.
Your real estate agent is the best resource to turn to for specific disclosure questions.
Creating a Sellers Disclosure
Texas makes it easy to fill out a home sellers disclosure form, but it's recommended that sellers review the paperwork with their real estate agent to ensure all sections are appropriately filled out and meet all legal requirements.
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Anyone looking to sell their home in Texas should be aware of home seller disclosure laws. Sellers will need to fill out a seller disclosure form indicating any known issues and defects within the property.
To ensure all Texas disclosure laws are properly followed, sellers should partner with a qualified local real estate agent. An experienced agent can provide insight and advice on the specific details to include within your disclosure form. They can also help prepare your final disclosure document and review it for any errors or inconsistencies.
In addition, your agent can help you navigate through the entire home selling process, starting with listing and ending with closing. If you don't already have a real estate agent, Clever can help you find a qualified, full-service agent for a fraction of the price of traditional agents. Clever Partner Agents are fully-vetted, top-rated agents who only charge 1.5% to list your home, instead of traditional listing rates of 3%. Clever also has agents in all major cities, so you'll be connected with an agent near you.
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