How upfront should I be with a potential buyer about home flaws?

4 Replies

Hi All

I'm selling my primary residence FSBO. I am in a very desirable neighborhood and have gotten multiple request from potential buyers simply by word of mouth. The house is in immaculate condition aside from what i consider to be two flaws.

(1) the kitchen cabinets have been repainted, but were not done perfectly, so there are some aesthetic flaws that you really have to scrutinize to find

(2) there are three bathroom cabinets that have water damage on the bottom surfaces from previous leaks that I did not catch in time

I've done a few showings on my own, and have not pointed out these flaws. i fully expect these flaws to be caught by any inspector who does a thorough job.

What should I do in the showings?  I am not sure that i should be pointing out flaws in the home is a good idea.  But on the flip side, i dont want to be caught lying by omission.

Can anyone offer any good advice on how they would approach this?

Disclose everything that is not readily seen such as a poor paint job, etc. Anything that is not readily apparent should be disclosed (leak in roof unless there is a 6" hole they can see, etc), plumbing issues, etc. Protect yourself.

@Nick Arenaso   I personally would not worry about the cabinets being painted assuming it does not look horrible.  On the other hand if it looks horrible the buyers will notice it.  Either way I would not bring that up.   Regarding number 2, I have two options.  Point it out and don't worry about it (there is no way small damage from a previous leak is a deal breaker), or fix it ahead of time so you can have piece of mind.  Trying to hid it is not a good option.  

@Nick Arenaso personally when I have sold my houses FSBO, I actually do not walk around with the potential buyers, even if they don't have an agent. I let them in and let them know I will either be outside, or in a certain area waiting for them. If they have any questions they can come get me. Both of the items you listed are cosmetic issues (assuming the old leaks are 100% taken care of) and I would not even make mention of them at the showing. I can GUARANTEE every single house on planet earth has cosmetic issues like you described. Even my brand new cabinets I install have issues that I notice, somewhere. I wouldn't worry one bit about disclosing there are some minor hard to notice flaws with the paint job. Unless you have a level 5 finish on your walls and ceilings there will be significantly more flaws throughout the house than that.

This is just my .02 cents.

When in doubt, disclose.

Complete a Seller Property Disclsoure Report (whatever the FL version is of that) and put both items on there.  Give people the opportunity to take a copy at showings.  That way you have disclosed it without drawing undue attention to it.

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