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NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

 

 

 

Sellers Disclosure of Property Condition

 
There are literally thousands of used homes bought and sold every month in Texas. Most of those transactions occur without any disputes after closing. The whole process occurs in a surreal vacuum: no relationships are built; no personal information is exchanged; and the parties are guarded from seeing, talking and dealing with each other by their realtors. The buyer depends on the honesty of the seller and the realtors and the competency of the inspectors. These trusts are sometimes misplaced.

Real Estate Disclosure Laws

The seller's sole required means of giving information about the condition of the house to the seller is with the state SELLERS' DISCLOSURE of PROPERTY CONDITION form.  This is mandated under Property Code, §5.008 and it has to comply with the requirements of the statute. 

In plain English, this means it has to have all of the items and language specifically contained in the statute. The SELLER'S DISCLOSURE of PROPERTY CONDITION is a copy of the required form.

The critical parts of this SELLER'S DISCLOSURE of PROPERTY CONDITION are in Section 3. Here the seller has to reveal whether there have been previous defects/malfunctions in the house, including  

flooding improper drainage
termite infestation
water penetration
termite and wood rot damage aluminum wiring

structural or roof repair 

These disclosures are critical because they can signal problems that may cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Real Estate Disclosure Fraud

 
The seller can be caught in a legal bind without any intent of fraud.  How can this be?  It happens when they answer "no" to any disclosure question when there was in fact a problem, even if they did not know there was.  Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DTPA) they made a representation of fact and had the duty to know whether it was fact. 
 

  NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044 Evin@housedefects.com
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
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