What information about their homes are sellers required to disclose to homebuyers?

In short—everything. 

Sellers are required to disclose all material facts about the home. But let’s break down what that means in more detail.

Buyers aren’t just buying your home; they’re buying your past experiences with the home, and you share those experiences with them in the disclosure document.

Here in Hawaii, we follow not only the federal laws, but the state laws as well. We have a five-page seller’s disclosure document that is required for all residential sales. As a seller, you must provide that document to the buyer as part of the purchase contract when they move to buy your property.

Now, from a federal perspective, the disclosures are very simple. The lead paint disclosure is probably the most important—since 1978, homeowners have been required to disclose if the home has any lead paint.

“Properly disclosing to your buyers helps set a realistic expectation for the buyers—it allows them to move forward with the transaction in a timely manner with all the facts in mind.”

From a state perspective, the five-page document highlights all the state’s rules and regulations. Most of these are state-based, but they cover a wide variety of topics. At a very high level, they’re designed to protect both the seller and the buyer, ensuring that both understand all the details involved in the sale of the home. The buyer will know what they’re getting and how it will impact them going forward.

Here are a few examples of things sellers are required to disclose to their buyers:

  • Any and all material facts about the property. This includes past or present repairs you’ve conducted on the property, as well as any item that is currently broken or defective. These items could impact the buyer’s decision to buy the property, as well as the amount they’d be willing to pay for it.
  • Whether you’ve done any renovations.
  • The presence of water damage and/or mold.
  • The presence of lead paint, as well as other hazardous substances like asbestos and arsenic.
  • Termite damage. It doesn’t get cold enough here in Hawaii to kill off the termites, so there’s always a chance that a home may have sustained some damage.
  • Whether you’ve made any insurance claims on the home.

Properly disclosing to your buyers helps set a realistic expectation for them—it allows them to move forward with the transaction in a timely manner with all the facts in mind.

If you have any questions about seller’s disclosures or anything else to do with real estate, don’t be afraid to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.