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What Disclosures are Required When Selling a Home in Texas?

Selling your home can be an intimidating process to start. There are many steps in the process of selling your property and knowing what your state requires you to disclose on your home is critical.

 

Texas Law on Property Disclosures

Texas law requires sellers of single-family homes to provide a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to the buyer. Seller’s Disclosure Notice forms are available through either the Texas Real Estate Commission or the Texas Association of Realtors.

 

What is the Seller’s Disclosure Notice?

The notice provides sellers a place to document and share their knowledge of the property at the time they complete and sign the disclosure. As the seller it is important to ensure that you are disclosing everything known about the property. A disclosure notice that details known conditions and defects can help provide a more complete picture of a property.

 

What’s in the Notice?

The Seller’s Disclosure Notice covers a wide range of topics. It asks sellers to list the appliances and systems in the property, any current defects or items known to be in need of repair, past inspection reports, and other conditions of the property.
It also asks the seller if they are aware of any conditions in the property such as aluminum wiring, asbestos, lead based paint, settling, foundation repairs, etc. as well as information regarding any structural modifications, violations of deed restrictions, pending lawsuits affecting the property, whether any claims for property damage have been made and more.

Need help understanding the seller’s disclosure or other aspects of a real estate transaction? Talk to your Realtor.

 

What Does The Home Inspectors Provide for Sellers?

Home inspections aren’t just for home buyers. If you are preparing to sell your home, it’s wise to order a pre-sale home inspection. One of our licensed home inspectors will walk through six key areas in the inspection that encompass multiple aspects of the home including: Structural Systems; Electrical systems; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems; Plumbing Systems; Appliances; Optional Systems. Reports are presented and e-mailed on-site with color photos and easy to understand findings. Every home inspection customer receives a lifetime subscription to HomeBinder ($300+ value). Your personal HomeBinder.com account will include your inspection reports (Summary Report, Inspection Report, Wood Destroying Insect Report), inspection photos, educational videos which are site-specific to the home as well as additional resources uploaded to your online binder.

Getting your home inspected doesn’t have to be frightening and will give YOU more control over the selling process.

The first step to selling your home starts with an inspection you can trust! If you’re ready to make the step, call us today at any of our locations: DFW 972.235.0800, AUSTIN 512.993.5100, and SAN ANTONIO 210.990.0726 or schedule an inspection online.

One important piece of knowing the current condition of your home, for Buyers and Sellers alike, is the home’s foundation. The foundation of a home is often the make or break for a transaction, and being aware of the condition of the foundation will help prepare you for the sale/purchase of your home.

So how do you know if your home’s foundation is in good shape? 

 
There are various warning signs of adverse performance of a foundation. The warning signs below will give you a good idea of what to look for when evaluating your home’s foundation and may even show you your foundation is in better shape than you originally thought!
 

Cracked Foundation

One of the simplest ways to check for foundation issues is looking directly at the source. Take a look at your home’s foundation to look for any noticeable cracks or sinking in your foundation walls. However, take this suggestion with a grain of salt, as not all foundation cracks are bad; because homes will naturally settle, some cracks are often normal. You can spot concerning foundation issues by looking for cracks that are wider at the top than the bottom or horizontal cracks.

Jammed Doors and Windows

Take the time to inspect all of the doors and windows in your home. While a creaky door or mildly stubborn window can be a common occurrence in any home, keep a close eye on windows and doors that are significantly difficult to close or any kind of distortion, separation, or problems latching. Because walls are at their weakest point near openings, these can oftentimes be an area where foundation issues stem.

Uneven Floors and Ceilings

Over time your home will naturally move and settle. This results in your moving foundation shifting your home’s walls and support beams, causing the weight of your home to sit unevenly. Closely inspect your home’s floors and ceilings for any obvious sagging, slanting, or cracking. While some settlement and shifting in your home is natural, issues like this are a telltale sign of more serious problems with your foundation.

Gapping Between Frames and Wall

Take a look at the exterior of your home and keep your eyes peeled for any kind of gapping between your front door or windows and the wall. Gaps are a sign that your foundation is shifting and pulling them apart.

Bowed Or Cracked Walls

Cracks or bowing both on interior and exterior walls are a clear and easily recognizable sign of foundation issues within a home. If you are able to spot these within your home, it is a clear indicator of foundation movement, hydrostatic pressure, or poor drainage.

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CHECKLIST

 

INTERIOR

 

DOORS & WINDOWS

  • Cracks extending from the drywall in the corners of doorways and windows
  • Gaps between the frame and the floor or wall
  • Binding or misalignment
  • Difficulty latching properly
  • Separation from framing or exterior finish

FLOORS

  • Cracks in the slab
  • Uneven or sloping floors
  • Cracks in floor tiles
  • Sagging or bowing floors
  • Separation between the floor and wall

WALLS & CEILINGS

  • Sheetrock cracks of .2”-.6” or more oftentimes located around doors and windows
  • Gaps where the wall meets the ceiling
  • Displaced or cracked decorative moldings
  • Corner cracks extending from windows and doors
  • Cracks

 

EXTERIOR

 

FOUNDATION

  • Cracks that are horizontal or wider at the top than the bottom
  • Sinking along the perimeter of the foundation

DOORS & WINDOWS

  • Separations between door jambs or brick moulding and the brick
  • Separations around window frames
  • Separation between garage frame and brick

WALLS

  • Frieze board separations
  • Rotating, buckling, or deflecting masonry cladding
  • Cracks of .2”- .6” or more oftentimes
  • Offset cracking where the brick is uneven on either side of the crack
  • Chimney cracks

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This is a fairly comprehensive list and having just one or two of these indicators may not be cause for concern. However, more than a couple of the indicators of adverse performance might suggest your home’s foundation may need some special attention. Knowing the current condition of a home’s foundation opens opportunities to negotiate the selling price, prepare for future maintenance, and stay on top of a potential purchase.

FOR TIPS ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE PURCHASE OR SALE
OF YOUR HOME DOWNLOAD OUR FREE INSPECTION CHECKLIST!

Packing up all you own for the big move can sometimes feel overwhelming. So, where do you start? We’ve compiled our top 5 Expert Tips When Packing For Your Big Move. We hope these serve as a helpful tool as you start your next adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESERVE YOUR VEHICLE

Don’t wait until moving day to reserve your rented vehicle. It’s often smart to start with recommendations from trusted reviews when selecting a company. Check ahead of time and discover the availability and rates associated with that vehicle.

Every truck is different and the size you choose matters. Here’s a quick cheat for determining what size vehicle you’ll be needing for the big move.

2-3 Rooms — 15 ft. truck
4-6 Rooms — 18 ft. truck
7-8 Rooms — 22 ft. truck

Once you’ve determined the truck/van you will be renting, make sure you have the supplies needed to execute the move.

  • Loading ramps
  • Padding
  • Dollies
  • Boxes

 

DOUBLE CHECK THE LITTLE THINGS

Nothing is more frustrating than stopping mid-move because you realize you don’t have what you need. Whether that’s completely forgetting a crucial moving day item or not getting enough of one thing, making a list and checking it twice (or three times) will pay off in the long run. Here are a few items to get your moving day list started:

  • Marking pens
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • All size boxes
  • Furniture pads or sheets
  • Rope or twine
  • Tool box

 

LABEL ALL BOXES

One of the best ways to keep organized before, during, and after the move is to create lists and label. A common way to label boxes is by labelling numerically. Labeling all boxes, and making a list clearly indicating the contents, will be a game changer as you start unpacking in the days following.

Make sure to clearly mark fragile items! As your team of friends and family are loading and unloading, this will remind them to use extra caution around your valuables.

 

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE ULTIMATE MOVING GUIDE TO DISCOVER EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL MOVE!

 

KEEP THE BASICS HANDY

Don’t forget to keep the basics handy and pack essentials in separate boxes for easy access once you arrive to your new home. Identify what items your family use on a regular basis and begin to make a list. If you need help getting started, here are a few basics we recommend:

Personal Items
Comfortable clothing
Linens
Toiletries
Cosmetics
Soap
Towels
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Iron
Alarm Clock
First Aid Kit
Daily Medications
Shower curtain

To Settle In
Garbage can & bags
Extension cords
Tool kit
Flashlight
Ladder or step stool Dust cloth
Cleaning products
Mop and broom
Vacuum cleaner
Shelf liner
Rope/Twine
Matches

Activities for Kids
Favorite toys
Coloring books
Crayons
Books
Puzzles

 

LOADING

Many don’t realize there is a system to loading the truck efficiently and effectively. Start with heavy furniture first and carefully pad the items before bringing in your labeled boxes. Once your labeled boxes have all been loaded, double check that items are secure. Boxes and items may shift in transit, so securing boxes and padding furniture will ensure the safety of your personal items. It may be best to keep the most fragile items with you in your individual car.

We spoke with Denni Scates, an established Realtor with RE/MAX DFW Associates, about why she continues to choose The Home Inspectors as her number one referral for clients. With over 122 inspections booked since the company began, here’s what she had to say!

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Interviewer: “Denni, what do you appreciate most about partnering with The Home Inspectors?”

Denni: “The Home Inspectors are efficient and thorough in every inspection. Not only that, but they continue to schedule out the inspectors within a reasonable time.”

Interviewer: “How do you feel like your clients respond after an inspection?”

Denni: “My clients are very pleased that they now know the true condition of their purchase and have an idea of what repairs they should prepare for. This helps as we negotiate the purchase.”

Interviewer: “As a Realtor, do you feel like partnering with The Home Inspectors has helped you succeed?”

Denni: “As a crucial vendor member of my team, The Home Inspectors have been very important in bringing value to me and to my clients. The inspectors steer clear from drama over something needing repair and keep my clients at ease.

My clients are very appreciative of a reasonable voice and idea of how a repair can be approached. When there is a catastrophic problem uncovered, the inspectors are clear, but not inflammatory, in helpings us to all understand what the problem is.”

Interviewer: “Why do you think other Realtors should partner with The Home Inspectors?”

Denni: “There are inflammatory inspectors and non-inflammatory inspectors.  I’ve had a listing where the buyer’s inspector stayed for 6 hours and came up with ridiculous stuff. The buyers were so upset they wanted to withdraw!

Upon closer examination, the ‘deal breakers’ did not even exist!  Be careful to choose thorough inspectors, like The Home Inspectors, who shoot straight and are trustworthy.”

Interviewer: “Do you have a particular memory in which The Home Inspectors provided exceptional service when you needed it most?”

Denni: “Our inspector recognized that a home had composite shingles overlaid on cedar shake shingles. The previous inspector had missed that completely — the homeowners had no idea that by current code the house was now uninsurable!!

Sellers had to put a new roof and new decking on (a wonderful bonus for the buyers!)”

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DISCOVER WHY REALTORS ACROSS TEXAS ARE CHOOSING
THE HOME INSPECTORS AS THEIR NUMBER ONE REFERRAL!

 

Looking to purchase a new home is an exciting time and a large investment. Take time to think through the various signs to look for when purchasing a home, and connect with an expert that can help you discover what the current condition of your future home really is. Read through as we’ve highlighted 4 important things to consider when buying a home!

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1. WITHIN YOUR BUDGET

One of the most important pieces to consider when purchasing a home is if it is within your budget. It’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement a new home can bring, but if it’s not within your budget it’s smart to rethink your strategy before you get too invested. Consider not only the initial down payment and ongoing mortgage payments, but the potential for future repairs. Establish your budget first and then begin your search for the perfect new home to avoid roadblocks along the way. If you think you’ve found your future home but are unsure of its current condition, connect with a professional Home Inspector today!

 

2. FIRM FOUNDATION

When buying a home it’s vital to do a thorough inspection to make note of the current condition of the home’s foundation.  There are various warning signs of adverse performance of a foundation you should be aware of prior to locking down your future home. Look for doors and windows that don’t properly latch as well as cracks in the floor, walls, and ceiling. Many discovered cracks might seem minor but can lead to much more damaging consequences if not handled properly.

 

3. WATER DAMAGE

What many don’t realize is that musty odors within a home can indicate a much larger underlying problem. Many times that musty odor means there is water damage in the house that you may not see. Look for visible water lines in the home’s walls and ceiling as well as discoloration. Texture changes in the floors such as warping, buckling, sagging/sinking, and expanding will expose the probability of water damage within a home. Talk with a professional today to catch early signs of water damage!

 

4. PROPER MAINTENANCE

Look for a home that shows proper maintenance from the previous tenants / owners. Signs of proper maintenance can be up-to-date air filters, tight faucets and shower heads, trimmed trees/branches in the yard, regular checks on the central heating and cooling system, as well as other small details that are often ignored. Purchasing from an owner that has properly cared for the home minimizes your risk in investing and positions you well for the future.

At The Home Inspectors we value relationships. Our strategic partnerships with realtors around Texas have continued to grow as more realtors are learning about what The Home Inspectors can do for their clients. We interviewed one of our DFW realtor partners, Marcie Burns, and got her candid thoughts on partnering with The Home Inspectors. Marcie is an established realtor with Keller Williams, and is located in the DFW area.

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Interviewer: “Hey Marcie, why have you chosen to partner with The Home Inspectors?”

Marcie: “The Home Inspectors have a systematic approach to how they do business.  I always know what to expect when receiving an inspection report from them!  Their reports are easy to read and they highlight areas where buyers may be concerned.  I love that their reports are presented onsite for all buyers and within an hour of completing the inspection, a .PDF copy of the report is sent to the buyer and to me the agent for review.”

Interviewer: “What’s your favorite thing about this partnership?”

Marcie: “The inspectors are always happy to answer any questions my buyer has for them about any areas of interest they may have, during the inspection and after the inspection!”

Interviewer: “What response do you get from clients after using The Home Inspectors?”

Marcie: “My clients like that the Inspector explains their inspection to them while they are onsite! They are always able to ask questions on items they do not understand.”

Interviewer: “Has partnering with The Home Inspectors helped your business as a realtor?”

Marcie: “Yes! I feel comfortable in the way that they approach their line of business and they have freely answered any of my questions when I don’t understand an area of concern. The inspector’s findings assist me in negotiating repairs with a seller on behalf of my buyer as I am able to point out specific findings on the reports and there are pictures to show them as well.”

Interviewer: “What would you tell other realtors looking to partner with The Home Inspectors?”

Marcie: “Because the Home Inspectors run their business like a business, and are very systematic about their inspection process,  their pricing is fair and affordable! They also include WDI Termite inspections within their pricing.  Many lenders require buyers to get a WDI Inspection report as a condition of lending and this is just one less cost that the buyer has to pay for amongst many when buying a home.”

Interviewer: What three words would you use to describe The Home Inspectors and how they do business?”

Marcie: “Efficient, thorough and affordable!” 

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LEARN WHY REALTORS PARTNER WITH THE HOME INSPECTORS
AND SEE IF THIS PARTNERSHIP IS A RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

Many people assume that just because a house is new that it does not need to be inspected, however, this is far from the truth. The building of a home is complex and involves many different professionals and skilled trades that have the potential to overlook critical items. Here are 3 important tips homeowners should know about their new build home inspection!

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1. YOUR HOME INSPECTION SHOULD COME BEFORE YOUR BUILDER WALKTHORUGH

Your new construction inspection should be performed when a your new home is ready for move-in day, but before your very FINAL walk-thru with your builder. Not only does this give you peace of mind that everything is ready and in place for your move-in date, but it will give you an opportunity to address any concerns that may have surfaced in your home inspection directly with the builder. These questions can be prepared ahead of time so you’re in control and knowledgeable before the the walkthrough.

 

2. SCHEDULE AN INSPECTION PRIOR TO YOUR 11 MONTH WARRANTY EXPIRATION

New builds often have a warranty of 11 months after completion that you have to bring up any concerns or defects identified in the home. Scheduling a home inspection prior to that warranty’s expiration will not only put you in a position where you can focus on problems that arise, but your builders will also be more motivated during that time period that is under warranty to address those issues.

 

3. COMPREHENSIVE INSPECTION VS PHASE INSPECTION

At The Home Inspectors, we offer a Comprehensive Inspection instead of a Phase Inspection. A phase inspection, is a snapshot look at a new build before the build is complete. At different phases of construction the home is inspected to narrow the focus on that specific aspect of the build. A comprehensive inspection is a full walk-through of your newly finished build. We go through every aspect of the home, as we would any other inspection using official TREC standards, and identify any problem areas we find within the home.

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Having confirmation that your home is in great condition, prior to move-in, gives each homeowner the reassurance they need to communicate confidently with their builder. Contact The Home Inspectors today to schedule your New Construction Home Inspection!

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