What do you need to disclose when selling a house in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Real Estate |

Georgia doesn’t require home sellers to provide a formal disclosure form, but it still requires that sellers disclose certain information. Although you don’t have to fill out a formal disclosure, lawyers recommend it because written disclosures offer more protection.

Material defects

Georgia real estate law stipulates that you must disclose any material defects that would cause a person to pay less or not at all for the property. A material defect is a problem with a component or system of the property that is unsafe to others or decreases the value of the real estate. When a component or system is nearing the end of its lifespan, this isn’t a material defect.

Examples of components that require disclosure:

• Ceiling
• Bathtub
• Plumbing
• Heating system
• Major appliances
• Foundation

Questions

When a prospective buyer or their agent asks you questions about the home, you must answer honestly. Georgia real estate law specifically requires that you answer honestly to the best of your ability. Even when the prospective buyer asks about details that you otherwise wouldn’t have to disclose, you need to provide an honest, thorough answer. They could ask about how your neighbors are and whether or not any murders took place at the property in the past.

If you don’t know with certainty an answer to one of their questions, then say so to avoid legal troubles. Buyers could file lawsuits against sellers after buying a home if they find something that the seller was dishonest about.

Although Georgia doesn’t mandate a formal written disclosure, you need to make a clear, verbal disclosure. However, to help protect yourself from possible false claims or misunderstandings that end up in court, you should provide a formal Seller Property Disclosure Statement.

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