Becoming familiar with Tennessee's disclosure laws will facilitate a favorable, legal sale and bolster a positive relationship with potential buyers. Learn more about what sellers are required to disclose and what they are not, per Tennessee law.
When selling your home, there are numerous disclosures to consider. Depending on the state, you are legally required to disclose certain items while others are left up to the sellers discretion. Sellers can be wary of disclosing certain things because they fear the potential buyer will balk at the information. However, it is advisable to disclose more than less to avoid a potential lawsuit down the road.
Disclosure Requirements in Tennessee
Home sellers in Tennessee are faced with certain disclosure laws that other states' residents are not. In Tennessee, the seller must provide the buyer with a hard copy, signed disclosure statement prior to signing the purchase contract. Tennessee real estate law requires the seller to disclose any material defects about the land or buildings.
Usually, sellers will use a standard disclosure form with certain yes or no questions that covers necessary information. See an example of the form here. These various questions ask the seller to identify features on their home and attest to their conditions.
In addition to this form, Tennessee requires that sellers divulge additional disclosures in the purchase agreement. Groundwater erosion, existence of a sinkhole, and the existence of any known exterior well water on the property must all be disclosed in the agreement provided to the buyer.
What You Don't Need to Disclose in Tennessee
Certain instances about your home or property are not required by law to be disclosed to the purchaser. Events like homicide and suicide are omitted from the disclosure list because the State of Tennessee does not deem them pertinent to the purchase of a home. You also do not need to divulge if an HIV positive resident ever lived in the dwelling.
Additionally, the law does not require the home seller to do additional research on their home prior to its sale. There are options on the disclosure form to check “unknown.” If you truly don't know certain things about your property, it's absolutely okay to mark this box. You do not need to hire an expert, engineer, or inspector on your own to assess the structure or mechanisms inside the home. The buyer is responsible for either accepting your disclosure report or hiring an outside inspector to examine the property.
The Importance of Being Earnest
While Tennessee has relatively lenient disclosure laws, the seller has the option to provide additional information to the buyer. While this has the potential to scare the buyer off, it also has the possibility of creating trust between both parties and open the door for honest conversation about the current condition and asking price of the home.
The seller can rely on their knowledgeable real estate agent to guide them through Tennessee's disclosure laws. This will ensure that the seller discloses everything applicable and insulate the seller from future legal action.
Tennessee has strict ramifications if the seller knowingly omits information either on the disclosure form or in the purchase contract. For example if the roof begins to leak a few weeks after the new owner moves in, they can take legal action which might result in you paying for an entire roof repair or replacement. It's better to be honest than get the sale.
An experienced local real estate agent will be familiar with Tennessee's disclosure laws and can help you complete the disclosure form accurately and honestly. They can also guide you through drafting a complete purchase agreement per the state's guidelines. Don't wait, call Clever today and get paired with a savvy Partner Agent today.