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The seller’s disclosure statement: Why you might need it

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | Residential Real Estate |

Selling your home is a significant decision with potential for both risks and rewards. If you’re looking to sell in Massachusetts, you might wonder about the seller’s disclosure statement. This document reveals any known problems with your property. While Massachusetts law doesn’t require you to provide it to buyers, as some other states’ laws do, considering its pros and cons is crucial.

Benefits of using this statement during a sale

Though a seller’s disclosure statement isn’t mandatory in Massachusetts, it can be quite beneficial. It acts as a safeguard, potentially protecting you and your real estate agent from future liabilities if a buyer finds a problem after the sale. By detailing any known issues, you can avoid claims of fraud or misrepresentation. Moreover, being transparent about your home’s condition can lead to a quicker sale and possibly a higher offer, as buyers often prefer to deal with honest sellers.

Risks of disclosing too many details

On the other hand, providing a seller’s disclosure statement comes with its own set of risks. If you inadvertently omit important details or make mistakes, you could be vulnerable to lawsuits. For instance, failing to mention a leaky roof could lead to legal claims for damages. Additionally, being too open about your property’s issues could scare away potential buyers or lead them to negotiate for a lower price, using the disclosed defects as leverage.

Navigating the sale process

Selling a home in Massachusetts means understanding the “caveat emptor” principle — letting the buyer beware. Buyers are expected to do their homework on the property’s condition. Still, as a seller in Massachusetts, you’re required to inform them about the presence of lead paint and the septic system’s status.

The legal side of selling your home can seem complex. To ensure you’re fully protected, you should consider seeking an attorney experienced in real estate. They can assist you with meeting disclosure requirements and protecting your interests throughout the sale process.