Remember that car you bought a few years ago, from a used car salesman? He must have spent hours cleaning and polishing it. He talked a good and, unfortunately, you fell hook, line and sinker for his ploy and handed over the cash. It turned out to be the worst car you had ever bought, full of hidden problems.

If you are trying to sell your home, don’t be like that used car salesman. There are laws to protect real estate buyers from people who try to hide the truth. The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act requires that you complete a Residential Real Property Disclosure Report when selling a house. The report lists 22 potential defects and asks you if you are aware of them or not. If you do not answer honestly, it could come back to haunt you.

A buyer should still have an inspection carried out, but the disclosure form provides added protection and increases transparency. The list of problems mentioned on the form include:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead issues
  • Flooding or being on a flood plain
  • Leaks
  • Electrical problems
  • Heating equipment issues
  • Subsidence
  • Boundary disputes

If you fail to disclose something, a buyer can take you to court if they find fault with the house, so honesty is the best policy. If you are accused of hiding a defect, you will need to show that you were unaware of an issue at the time you completed the report. An experienced Glen Carbon real estate attorney can help you fill the form to avoid problems. They can also assist you if something later goes wrong with your sale. 

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