You’ve heard it said a million times about a million different things – ‘honesty is the best policy’ – and, in all fairness, it certainly is. If you’re providing a service or selling a product, the last thing you need is to be found concealing hidden terms or features that will fire back on you at a later date. Furthermore, honesty is all about being upstanding and clear – and when it comes to selling your home, regardless of how you do it, you should always keep the facts open and available to everybody.
First and foremost, neglecting to mention or even fabricating certain elements altogether on a property information form is simply bad practice. While such forms are requested by the buying party and let the new homeowners see everything in black and white and in full (while this may make for some extensive bedtime reading), there have been many cases where such information has been left vague, underestimated or even fictional – and going by any of these could seriously undercut you legally later on in the process.
It’s best to get everything out in the open – mention work that has been undertaken at the property. Discuss any boundary issues with neighbours or ongoing disputes. Advise of potential structural issues that will require attention later on in the home’s shelf life. Being up front and honest about the facts surrounding your property may well give you the impression that a buyer will run screaming at the sight of such information, but this really has to be the best option to take.
The Long Run
This is because, if a buyer finds certain information omitted or fabricated during the sale, be it on paperwork or via the selling process generally, you could find yourself up in a spot of legal bother in the long term, not just the short term. What if your buyer was to uncover that unsightly structural damage you were hoping to gloss over? What if boundary issues do arise with neighbouring houses and you neglected to advise that such problems existed when you were living there? Unless you are honest, clear, and have a responsible solicitor by your side throughout the whole of the process, you could end up in a sticky situation via the courts if the information you withhold is grievous enough.
If you’re selling a property fast for cash
and you willingly or intentionally neglect to highlight certain features or elements about your home during the sale process, this could leave you open to claims of misrepresentation – i.e. the legal issues as mentioned earlier. If you think you should remain coy or bend the truth when it comes to revealing your home, you should think again – absolutely everything needs to be laid bare to the buyer to ensure that they are clear and happy with the deal that they are signing into.
For example, this doesn’t just mean ensuring you let them know about damage or potential work that needs to be undertaken in future. Have you been clear and upfront in terms of fees? How about planning information? What of any contents you may be providing with the property? What guarantees or insurances have been taken out on the home in the time of any faults being repaired? When it comes to laying such things bare, no element is too minor – while you are clearly keen to sell your home as soon as possible in most cases, being untruthful will reflect badly on you later on in time.
Essentially, it’s the same old story – put yourself in the buyer’s shoes! Wouldn’t you want to know everything about the home you’re signing for? Be open, be honest, be clear – and you’ll thank yourself for it later.
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