When selling a home in North Carolina, certain matters must and mustn’t be disclosed to potential buyers. Please disclose certain information to avoid legal trouble with a real estate attorney. Here are two matters that are particularly important to keep in mind:
Must Disclose: Material Defects
One of the most important things that must be disclosed in North Carolina home sales is any material defects with the property. A material defect is any issue that could negatively impact the property’s value or pose a safety risk to the occupants. Examples of material defects include:
- Structural issues, such as foundation damage or roof leaks.
- Problems with plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems.
- Water damage or mold.
- Pest infestations.
- Environmental hazards like lead paint or asbestos.
If you are aware of any material defects with your home, you must inform potential buyers before they make an offer. You may need to hire a professional inspector to identify any issues you were unaware of. It is also a good idea to record any repairs or renovations you have made to the property, as this can help demonstrate that you have taken steps to address any issues.
Failure to disclose material defects can lead to legal action against you as the seller. Buyers have the right to know about any issues with the property before they make a purchase, and failing to disclose this information can be seen as fraudulent. It is better to be safe by disclosing any issues upfront rather than trying to hide them and potentially facing legal consequences later.
Mustn’t Disclose: Protected Classes
While it is important to disclose any material defects with your home, there are certain things that you must not disclose during a home sale. Specifically, you cannot discriminate against potential buyers based on protected classes such as race, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability.
Discrimination can include:
- Refusing to show someone property based on race or religion.
- Asking about a potential buyer’s marital status or family plans.
- Making assumptions about someone’s ability to live independently based on age or disability status.
It is important to remember that discrimination is not only unethical, it is also illegal. You could face legal action and significant financial penalties if you have discriminated against a potential buyer based on a protected class. Even unintentional discrimination can be grounds for legal action, so it is important to be aware of the protected classes and avoid making assumptions about potential buyers based on these factors.
In addition to avoiding discrimination, it is also a good idea to be mindful of fair housing laws when marketing your home. This means avoiding language or images seen as discriminatory or exclusionary. For example, you should avoid using phrases like “perfect for young couples” or “ideal for a single person,” as these could be seen as excluding potential buyers based on their familial status.
When selling a home in North Carolina, it is important to remember material defects and protected classes. Disclosing any material defects can help protect you from legal action down the line, while avoiding discrimination can help ensure that you treat all potential buyers fairly and legally. By being mindful of these factors and working with a knowledgeable real estate attorney or agent, you can help ensure a smooth and successful home sale.
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Our attorneys and staff have three decades of experience in law firms and real estate closings, enabling us to grasp your requirements and offer the most economical resolutions to your legal issues. Call 803-329-3777 to contact a real estate attorney from Rock Hill, SC.