What do home sellers have to disclose in Georgia?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Real Estate Law |

Typically, home sellers are obligated by law to make certain disclosures to prospective buyers about the condition of their properties. Exactly what must be disclosed, however, varies quite a bit from state to state.

Georgia’s laws are a lot looser than many other states. There are no mandated disclosure statements, and the burden is largely on the buyer to make sure they go into a real estate purchase with their eyes wide open.

That doesn’t mean you can’t forget about disclosures

Sellers still have an obligation to inform potential buyers of any conditions with the home that are not fairly obvious from a routine inspection if they have any special knowledge of the situation. That makes it always better to be transparent about known problems.

You also cannot purposefully deceive a buyer with misinformation. If you’re asked directly, for example, about whether someone ever died in the home due to a violent crime (which has been known to adversely affect a home’s marketability), denying a true fact could open you up to legal liability. When sellers ask questions, you can refuse to answer, but you cannot lie.

What happens if you fail to properly disclose known defects or deny true facts when a seller asks? Your buyer may be entitled to rescind their offer without penalties – even if the sale had already gone through. That means you’d have to return their money along with any expenses they’ve suffered.

Legal guidance when selling a home is critical to avoid serious (and costly) mistakes.