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Legally, what are you required to disclose to buyers when you put your home on the market? Just major problems or current issues, or do you have to disclose past repairs as well? We posed this question to real estate lawyers in Canada and the U.S., and this is what they said:
Disclose all known issues
Andrew Cao, a real estate lawyer with Edmonton law firm KBL Law LLP, says that it’s in your best interest to disclose all known issues, even if they have been repaired.
“I’ve found that many buyers, if they like the home enough, will simply accept the issues that exist. Even if a seller does have to lower the price or repair the defect (I recommend the former versus the latter), this cost will likely be far less expensive, stressful, and faster than going through years of potential litigation,” he says.
Real estate attorney Heather Anderson of Miller Anderson Lay Group LLC also recommends full disclosure.
“It’s critical, especially for sellers who have lived many years in a property, to recall the details about leaks and other problems they encountered while living in the home,” she advises. “If it’s disclosed and the buyer proceeds, then she did so with full disclosure. If it is withheld and there is a later issue, then the buyer will claim fraud, misrepresentation and/or concealment.”