Q: What is a Realtor?
A: A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® who is required to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® and misuse of the term is a trademark violation. To become a REALTOR® a person who holds a real estate license may join their local REALTOR® Association which makes them automatically a member of the State and National Associations.
Q: What does NOT need to be disclosed when selling your home in NC?
If your home has polybutylene pipes.
The square footage of your home (but if you do disclose, you are liable for the accuracy of the square footage). Also, if your home is listed in MLS, the local Multiple Listing Service may require square footage disclosure and then your agent is responsible for accurate measurement.
If your home has hard coat stucco siding.
If your home has asbestos siding, so long as it’s not friable.
If your home has hardboard siding.
If your home has pressure treated lumber.
If you are behind on mortgage payments (so long as no notice of foreclosure has been filed or you are not in a short sale situation).
If anyone with AIDS/HIV is living in the home or has died in the home from the illness. (Do not ever discuss AIDS/HIV, as this is covered under federal handicapped protection.)
If anyone has died in the home, in general, or was killed in the home (but if asked, you cannotlie).
If registered sex offenders live in the neighborhood.
If your home is haunted.
If your home has aluminum wiring.
If your home was partially destroyed by fire or flood, so long as it was repaired and remodeled to code.
If your home has received multiple offers to purchase.
Don’t forget that your agent is prohibited from discussing or providing any information about your neighborhood and area with respect to racial, religious, ethnic, social components.
In general, the overall rules to follow are:
If you disclose something, the information must be accurate or you may be held liable.
If you are specifically asked about something, you cannot give a false answer.
Q: What is a “material fact”?
A: One of the most difficult concepts for many homeowners to grasp is that of “material fact.” In its broadest sense a material fact may be said to be any fact that is important or relevant to the issue at hand. Because this is such a broad definition, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission has provided guidelines regarding what facts the Commission generally will consider to be material in most real estate transactions.
No matter who an agent represents in a transaction, the types of facts described below are material facts and must be disclosed to all parties with whom the agent deals if the agent is aware of such facts or should reasonably be aware of such facts.
Facts about the property itself.
Any significant property defect or abnormality Some examples are: a structural defect, a malfunctioning system, a leaking roof or a drainage or flooding problem.
Facts that relate directly to the property.
These are typically external factors that affect the use, desirability or value of a property. Examples are a pending zoning change, the existence of restrictive covenants, plans to widen an adjacent street, or plans to build a shopping center on an adjacent property.
Facts that relate directly to the ability of a principal to complete the transaction.
Any fact that might adversely affect the ability of a principal party to the transaction (buyer or seller) to consummate the transaction. Examples are the buyer’s inability to qualify for a loan and to close on the home purchase without first selling the currently-owned home, a seller’s inability to convey clear title due to the commencement of a foreclosure proceeding against the seller.
Facts that are known to be of special importance to a party.
There are many facts relating in some way to a property which normally would not inherently be considered “material,” but because they are known to be of special interest or importance to a party, they become a material fact. Example: The fact that a residential property may not be used for a home business due to zoning or restrictive covenants normally would not be a material fact; however, if an agent working with a buyer knows that the buyer wants to operate a home business, then the issue of whether the home can be used as such becomes a material fact.