In real estate, a disclosure is a piece of information a seller provides to a potential buyer, which may impact their decision to purchase the home. Disclosure requirements can vary from state to state. As such, it is important that sellers in Texas know which disclosures are required in the state, and that they be prepared to provide this information in a written document to buyers to protect the transaction.
Requirements include the following:
- Certain deaths on the property: In Texas, most deaths on a property do not need to be disclosed. For example, sellers are not required to disclose a death from natural causes or suicide to potential buyers. However, sellers do need to disclose homicides that take place on the property or deaths that resulted from an accident related to the property.
- Hazards: If the history or makeup of the house involve hazardous substances, such as asbestos, toxic waste or lead-based paint, Texas law requires sellers to disclose this information. Another hazard that must be disclosed is a history of methamphetamine being manufactured on the property.
- Repairs: Under Texas law, a seller must disclose any repairs that are structural in nature, including those done to the roof. This includes fixing defects in walls, roofs or fences, as well as any landfill or fault lines. In short, anything related to the structural integrity of the home must be disclosed.
In addition to the above, sellers must also disclose what appliances and fixtures will come with the home, any current wood-rot damage and information about previous treatments for certain pests. It is important to provide this information in accordance with state and local laws in order to prevent legal issues down the road. An experienced Texas real estate attorney can help to ensure the correct paperwork is put together for sellers to meet these requirements.