Home sellers often focus on selling their homes and forget the importance of disclosing material information to potential buyers. Making any necessary disclosures can save you tons of headaches, nightmares, and potential lawsuits in the long run.
If you don’t disclose material information about the condition of your Louisiana property, buyers may sue you in court. You may be responsible for any damages and even attorney fees. Not sure what you must disclose to potential Louisiana buyers?
We’ll give you all the ins and outs to protect yourself and meet the state of Louisiana disclosure requirements. Read on for your personal Louisiana real estate disclosure guide.
What Must You Disclose to Meet Louisiana’s Disclosure Requirements?
You may think that only certain states require sellers to disclose information about the condition of the property being sold. But Louisiana isn’t an exemption to this rule. Under Louisiana law, home sellers must disclose material information about their property.
In contrast with other states, the state law explicitly requires sellers to provide a disclosure document to potential buyers. The document must disclose any known property defects. Louisiana regulations require sellers to disclose property issues that affect the health or safety of the residents, longevity, and value of the home.
As a home seller, you don’t have to conduct a home inspection to make the necessary Louisiana state disclosures. However, some sellers choose to have a home inspector take a look at their house before disclosing information to potential buyers. After the home inspection, homeowners are able to make any necessary repairs and provide a complete disclosure report to comply with the applicable laws.
While disclosing details about your property’s condition may scare you, it’s the best way to prevent future lawsuits. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first time or seasoned home seller, you should consider consulting a real estate agent to learn what information you must or don’t need to disclose to potential buyers.
How Can You Disclose Any Property Defects to Louisiana Buyers?
Meeting Louisiana’s disclosure requirements is as easy as filling out the standard Property Disclosure Document from the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. When you fill out the form, you’ll answer “yes” or “not known” to a series of questions. You’ll disclose information from the length of your property ownership to details about the property’s sewage.
To protect yourself, you must complete all the questions and statements in the form. It may seem overwhelming to disclose so much information but, you may consider consulting a real estate agent. A local expert can guide you every step of the way to complete the form and provide insight into what information you must or mustn’t disclose.
Once you complete the form, you must sign it to certify that you provided information about the property to the best of your knowledge. Potential buyers will sign the report acknowledging the receipt of the property disclosure report.
Keep in mind that you may be exempt from providing the disclosure report if your transaction meets one of the 14 listed conditions at the beginning of the form. Still, you’ll have to provide the buyer with a signed report stating the applicable disclosure exemption. So you are on the hook for completing this form even when you are exempt from meeting Louisiana’s disclosure requirements.
Why Should You Make Disclosures to Louisiana Buyers?
While making the necessary disclosures may seem like a hassle, it will protect you from any future lawsuits. When it comes to home seller disclosures, honesty is the best policy. Don’t leave anything out because it may come back to haunt you in the long run.
A local real estate agent can help you make the right disclosures. Consider partnering with a Clever Partner Agent to stay on top of what information you must disclose.
Louisiana modified their disclosure form as recently as 2018. If a seller didn’t hire an agent when the form changed, they might have forgotten to disclose certain information or even use an old form that didn’t meet the regulatory requirements.
When you hire a realtor, you can avoid these mistakes. Partnering with a real estate agent will provide the buyer with confidence in the transaction while protecting you from not complying with the latest disclosure requirements.