When selling a property in Western Australia, a disclosure statement is not mandatory. If you’re asking yourself, “What do I have to disclose when selling a house?”, we’re hoping this blog post can help guide you.
What Do I Have To Disclose When Selling A House?
The rule of thumb is that you must divulge any material facts that may influence a prospective buyer’s decision. After all, a potential buyer can actually request that a Seller’s Disclosure Statement be submitted.
Furthermore, it’s especially hard for real estate agents to deem what is and what isn’t a material fact. There is a lot of grey area when an agent is working in a sellers best interest to get the best possible price for a property, and also need to provide material facts to buyers.
What To Disclose
From the start of the sale, you should be honest. Penalties can be imposed and the last thing you need is time in court when not revealing the truth about a property. While rules are relaxed about seller disclosure in WA, Australian Consumer Law makes it an offence to mislead a potential buyer into contract. Here’s a quick list of the material facts you should disclose:
- Renovations: Any renovations, remodelling, restorations and home improvements including extensions / add-ons, must have received council approval. If local government approval was not sought, you must inform your real estate agent.
- Pools and spas: A pool or spa that was part of the property when you purchased it, or added to the property by you must also have receive council approval. Also, there are rigid rules in place around keeping children safe from drowning with appropriate barriers being installed. If you do not have a pool certificate registered with your local council, you’ll need to let your agent know.
- Encroachments: If a fence or structure violates property rights by extending outside a boundary, this also needs to be disclosed to the real estate agent. Extending your property onto a neighbour’s land should be avoided.
- Sewers and cables: If a pipe, cable or any other underground installation on a property provides services to dwellings on other land, then this should be disclosed to the real estate agent. This can sometimes be the case for subdivided properties on battle-axe blocks, but should be disregarded for strata titles.
- Asbestos: The negative health effects caused by asbestos means that you should disclose if your property has previously had or could have asbestos on the premises. It’s legal to sell a property containing asbestos, but failure to divulge this information could result in legal action against you.
- Drug contamination: If you know contamination occurred due to the consumption or manufacture of illegal drugs, then full disclosure should be provided. Legal action could result if a buyer falls ill from exposure to a former drug lab or smoke house.
- Crime: Serious crime committed on a property should be disclosed to a real estate agent. It is the expectation of the community for a murder case that made the news, or any other horrific crimes be disclosed.
- Tenancy or leases: Most contracts dictate that a buyer will have vacant possession at conclusion of settlement. If there are tenants currently occupying a property and the agreement is for them to stay put, then this needs to be a condition of the contract.
I Need More Info
If you’re in need of more info on material fact and what you need to disclose when selling a property, reach out to Mosaic Settlements today. We empower our clients and we’re happy to assist you with any questions you have in regards to property transactions.