DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE
You’re putting your house on the market and filling out the Seller’s Property Disclosure that will be given to prospective Buyers. Which items are important for you to disclose?
You had a plumbing leak fixed last year so you don’t need to disclose that, right?
You have an old electric box that caused a fire a few months ago, but all the damage has been corrected and you’ve put in new breakers. Why do you need to tell anyone if it’s already been rebuilt?
You put in a new back patio that made the basement flood when it rained and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage. But you put in gutter extensions and had the damage repaired, so why should you mention that if it’s been fixed?
A neighborhood child accidentally died in your back yard. In Colorado, that’s considered a Psychological Defect and doesn’t legally have to be disclosed without the Seller’s permission, and you don’t want anyone to know, so you’re not going to divulge that piece of information. (Same principle if there has been a suicide or a murder that’s taken place on the property.)
If anything similar has happened to you, you might want to think twice about how you proceed. When in doubt, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE.
When you tell them upfront, Buyers are usually reasonable about previous problems that have been taken care of. It’s being caught off-guard afterward when nothing has been previously mentioned that tends to make them feel ambushed, and often has them tracking down a lawyer. You’d be surprised how many times the new Buyer calls the same plumber/electrician that you used. And many people don’t care, but there are others who won’t live in a suicide house.
Play it safe. Disclose up front and don’t run the risk of the excited neighbor spilling your beans to your detriment. Because trust me, they will.