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Step 7:  Prepare Disclosures

Back in the day, homeowners and their agents could sell homes without notifying buyers of what, if anything, might be wrong with the home for sale.  It was the buyer's responsibility to find out if the home had any defects requiring significant attention or repair. In some cases, the buyer did not find out that serious problems existed until s/he had already purchased the property.

After numerous court cases, many state governments decided that real property sales required increased regulation.  Because of sellers' general tendency not to disclose that which might cast their property in a poor light, laws in almost all states now require sellers to disclose a home's material defects.

The precise meaning of "material" is still debatable. However, it is generally defined as any information about the home that a reasonable homeowner should be expected to know and that could affect a property's value or desirability.

The document below explains what you might be required to tell buyers and how to determine what material defects your home might have.

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