What Do North Carolina Home Sellers Need to Disclose?
Wilmington Realtors® are often asked what’s required to be disclosed at the sale of a home. This is different from state-to-state, even city-to-city, because each has their own real estate commission that decides what is or isn’t important. A Realtor or real estate attorney can tell you what’s required where you live or are looking to buy. In North Carolina, there are 8 issues that you must disclose when selling your home. They include:
- Oil & Gas Rights
After a major builder decided to retain oil and gas rights upon sale of his property and not properly informing the buyers, it became mandatory in North Carolina for home sellers too disclose A) if a previous seller has severed any rights, B) the current seller has already severed the oil and gas rights, or C) they intend to sever them upon sale.
- Health & Safety Issues
Home sellers must disclose anything that may be a risk to the buyer’s health and safety. The most common issue disclosed is lead-based paint. A Lead-based Paint Disclosure is required for homes built in or before 1978, the year that lead-based paint was banned. Sellers must also disclose asbestos, toxic mold, radon, and if a home was formerly used as a meth lab.
- Natural Hazards
If a home is located in a flood zone, fire zone, earthquake zone, or along any other area considered moderate to high-risk for natural disaster, it must be disclosed.
- Future Construction Projects or Pending Community Litigation
Proposed roadways and developments, and community litigations are all situations that could affect buyers through increased fees, property loss, and lifestyle changes. So, if any exist in the immediate vicinity, they must be disclosed.
Known Defects, Seen & Unseen
If there are any defects or malfunctions in the home’s foundation, slab, fireplace, chimney, floors, windows, doors, ceilings, walls, garage, patio, deck, electrical system, plumbing system, heating and cooling system, sewage disposal system, TV cable wiring, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, irrigation system, garage door opener, pools, spa, etc., they must be disclosed. If there are any standing water or pest issues (termites), these must also be disclosed.
- Homeowners Association Assessments & Covenants
If there is a homeowners association that covers the neighborhood in which the home is located, all information about the HOA needs to be disclosed, including contact information, annual assessments (dues), amenities included, restrictions, and what all fees cover.
- Items Not Included in Sale
The rule of thumb is that anything bolted down stays with the home (that includes the 60” mounted television in the living room). If a seller is expecting to take a permanent part of the home, like a light fixture or window covering, with them after sale, they need to disclose it. A Realtor® can clear up any confusion on what’s required to stay.
- Anything Else That Will Hurt Resale Value
A death in a home does not need to be disclosed. Neither do ghosts. HOWEVER, if the home comes with a notoriety that was large enough to warrant home tours or t-shirt sales, it really needs to be disclosed, because it could affect the privacy of the future owners and may hurt resale value.
Wilmington home sellers that withhold information included in these 8 disclosure topics risk being sued after their home sells. Sellers sometimes try to hide defects thinking that they’ll hurt the sale of the home and lose them money. Depending on the severity of the issue, they very well could, but it’s a guaranteed it will cost the seller even more money if the issue comes to light after ownership passes to the buyers. If there are any known issues, the sellers should discuss it with their Realtor®. A solution may be less costly than they assume. Better safe than sorry!
If you have any questions about selling your Wilmington home and disclosures, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.