Sellers are often required to list out all the physical aspects of their property to prospective home buyers. This increases clarity and facilitates a better sale. That is exactly where a seller disclosure statement comes into the picture.
Sometimes, to make a quick home sale, sellers tend to hide the defects in the house. However, if the buyer finds material defects later, the seller may face legal consequences. To avoid these, our guide will take you through seller disclosure in Missouri.
What are Seller Disclosures?
The Seller Disclosure form is a standard checklist form containing material defects and features of the property. It specifically provides information about the property that may negatively affect the value of the house.
If there are material defects in a property that may impact the value of the property and the seller is aware of them, then the seller must disclose them. However, sellers should report these defects to the best of their knowledge and understanding.
The aim of Seller Disclosure is to maintain transparency in the real – estate transaction to keep the buyer aware of any defects present in the house.
Importance of Seller Disclosures
Seller’s disclosures serve the following purpose in real estate transactions:
|🔎||Give Complete Information About The Property||Disclosures help communicate the defects present on the property. They ensure that all the stakeholders involved in the transaction are well aware of the property's history.|
|⚖️||Protects Sellers Against Legal Liabilities||Once you disclose all the known defects present in the house or which come to light during the inspection, you may be exempted from any future liability against those defects.|
|👍||Develops Credibility||Honesty, accuracy and transparency are of utmost importance when selling your house. Disclosures are a way of achieving all of these and thereby enhancing your credibility.|
Missouri Real Estate Disclosure Laws
The sellers in Missouri are bound by specific federal and state laws in relation to the sale of their residential property. Real estate disclosures in Missouri are one of the most complex disclosure processes in the USA. Most sellers are left scratching their heads while filling out the numerous forms of seller disclosures in Missouri. They’re not only unending, but also quite complicated to understand for someone with no understanding of the field. But worry not, we are here to make that process easier when you want to sell a house in Missouri.
The seller is required to fill out the Seller Disclosure Form Missouri, notifying the buyer of any defects that could affect the property’s value. Likewise, the seller must also make lead-based paint and methamphetamine production disclosures to a prospective buyer.
Seller’s Disclosure Statement Form Requirements
As provided under Missouri Real Estate Laws, the seller must disclose the following information in the Seller’s Disclosure Statement Missouri:-
|1.||Heating, Cooling, and Ventilating|
|3.||Appliances/ Fixtures/ Equipment|
|4.||Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts|
|5.||Plumbing System, Fixtures and Equipment|
|6.||Water Systems/ Source|
|10.||Basement and Crawl Space|
|11.||Termites/ Wood Destroying Insects, Pests|
|12.||Soil and Drainage|
|13.||Hazardous Substance/ Other Environmental Concerns|
|14.||Roads, Streets, and Alleys|
|15.||Waste Disposal Site or Demolition Landfill (Statutory Disclosure)|
|17.||Miscellaneous (Age of Residency, Historical home or in Historic District, Existing Improvements, Pets, Protection Plan/ Home Warranty, Inoperable Windows or Doors, Broken Thermal Seals, Current Utility Service Providers, Encroachments, Existing or Threatened Legal Action, Violations of Local State or Federal Laws/ Regulations)|
The Missouri Association of Realtors obliges the seller to disclose property conditions in the Missouri Seller’s Property Disclosure form. The Seller’s Disclosure form Missouri gives a comprehensive overview of the features, any material defects, and the quality of the property.
General Disclosure Requirements
In addition to the Missouri Disclosure Statement, real estate disclosure laws in Missouri usually requires a caveat emptor clause in the purchase agreement. The clause states that it’s the buyer’s decision to verify the defects by conducting a home inspection.
The seller can face legal trouble if he directly lied about the property’s condition or prevented the buyer from conducting a home inspection.
Furthermore, the seller’s real estate agent is also under oath to “disclose all latent material defects known or that should have been known by the (agent).” An agent caught guilty could lose their license.
- ✍️ Editor’s Note: Latent material defects are the ones which are not apparent or visibly recognizable defects, but they significantly affect the value of the property. Generally, these defects pose a threat to the safety or health of the occupants.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
The Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form is one of the major requirements in the Missouri real estate transaction. The form notifies the buyer of any present lead paint on the property that could harm the occupants. The Act applies to public and private-owned housing, and to the properties built before January 1, 1978.
The seller must provide the buyer with a pamphlet called “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”. The pamphlet gives detailed information on lead-based hazards and ways in which you can protect your family from these hazards. Under Missouri property disclosure law, home sellers must fill out the Missouri Lead-based paint Disclosure form.
The buyer is provided with 10 days to do a risk assessment or paint inspection for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. For a reliable inspection, homebuyers may look for a lead hazard inspection firm by following this link.
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Methamphetamine Disclosure Requirement
The seller should report if the property was used as a site for methamphetamine production only if he had prior knowledge of such production. The seller doesn’t have to confirm or look for police records to find out if such property was used as a site of drug production.
Furthermore, any illegal substance relating to methamphetamine should also be disclosed.
Seller Not Legally Bound by Certain Disclosures
As per Missouri Rev. Stat. § 442.600, no action can be taken against a seller in the following event –
- For failure to disclose that the property is occupied or was occupied by a person who was infected with a virus, or disease that is highly unlikely to be transmittable; or
- If the property was a site of a homicide, felony, suicide, or death.
Disclosures regarding a psychologically impacted real property are not mandatory and could be left untold. However, sellers must answer honestly if they have been asked directly.
Failure of Seller to Disclose Material Information to the Buyer
What happens if the buyer finds out that the seller lied on Disclosure Statement Missouri? The buyer could renegotiate the purchase or can proceed with revoking the contract. The buyer could also sue the seller for hiding known defects and breach of contract or fraud.
To have a smooth sale on the Missouri property, the seller must be completely honest about his disclosure on the Missouri Real Estate Disclosure form. Even if the purchase contract has a caveat emptor clause, the buyer could still sue the seller.
As a seller, it’s the seller’s sole responsibility to review the Missouri Seller’s Disclosure form thoroughly. In case of doubts in filling out the form, the seller must contact his real estate attorney and agent.
Common Mistakes By FSBO Home Sellers in Disclosures
The main object of disclosures in any area is to give clarity and perspective to a buyer. Buyers who are looking for a home usually have certain criteria in mind before searching for a home. A seller disclosure acts as a bridge to close these doubts, giving buyers a reason to have faith in you and your deal.
- One of the biggest mistakes a seller can make is not giving disclosures at all. The lack of trust between a buyer and seller can demotivate a buyer from considering your property altogether. Hence, it is suggested that sellers complete all disclosure formalities as soon as possible, even though it may not be legally required in your state.
- Likewise, sellers also get an option to mark a point as ‘unknown’ in disclosures. This gives you ample opportunity to be honest in your disclosures. Also, marking a certain disclosure clause as ‘unknown’ shifts the burden on a buyer to inspect that particular problem. Hence, don’t make the mistake of lying on your disclosures, as that would count as fraudulent misrepresentation and attract a lawsuit.
- Most state laws prescribe that the disclosures should be provided before closing. As an FSBO seller, it is your duty to provide disclosures as soon as possible, since you do not have a real estate agent to do these things for you.
- ✍️ Pro Tip: Sellers who are selling their house the FSBO way are advised to keep their Disclosure Statement ready before listing on the MLS. It increases your credibility and reliability from a buyer’s perspective, as they get an idea of the property’s condition early on.
Tips to Minimize Issues in Missouri Seller’s Disclosure Form
- Review and Verify – There’s a time allowance (some permit 10 days) to review and verify everything about your Purchase and Sales Agreement—also the square footage, home usage, and marketing.
- Ask Questions – Ask questions when in doubt. This would help you in avoiding future trouble.
- Disclose Everything – To avoid problems in your home disclosure statement disclose everything you know honestly. Even a minor issue could turn out to be important.
- Get A Licensed Agent Involved – The best way to avoid disclosure issues is to get Missouri real estate agents who manages and assists in the process.
- ✍️ Pro Tip: List Your Property With Houzeo
One of the best ways to minimize problems in your seller’s disclosure is to Purchase the “Contract to Close Upgrade Package”. A Licensed broker will review your paperwork to make sure it is appropriate. In addition, you should also have the settlement agent review the paperwork so you cover all bases.
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Final Word: Complexity of Seller’s Disclosure in Missouri
|Level of Complexity||Average|
|Is Missouri a Caveat Emptor State?||No|
|Is Missouri a Non-Disclosure State?||Yes|
Disclosure laws in Missouri do not follow the rule of ‘caveat emptor,’ i.e. let the buyer beware. Thus, it is the seller’s duty in Missouri to disclose the condition and material defects of the property to the prospective buyer.
Missouri Real Estate Disclosures are a little complicated. Selling your house FSBO is good, but then you would have to deal with all the disclosures on your own. This demands that you be aware of all the disclosure requirements and that any mistake can cost you dearly. Houzeo can help you with this.
- ✍️ Editor’s Note: Though selling your home yourself on a For Sale By Owner website can save you thousands in commission, we highly recommend you add a Flat Fee MLS listing to your marketing strategy. Check out the best Best Flat Fee MLS Listing Services Missouri.
By listing your property with Houzeo, you get access to all forms in electronic format. And that too, for FREE! Houzeo has segregated all the disclosures state-wise so that you don’t have to hunt for Missouri seller disclosures separately.
Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.
*Seller disclosures are primarily the responsibility of a home seller. Regardless of the service, you engage in, you are required to ensure seller disclosures provided by you are complete and accurate to your best knowledge. Houzeo is not a brokerage or a licensed agent. It is a tech platform, and the tips presented here should not be construed as advice for which a real estate or attorney license is required.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to fill out a seller's disclosure in Missouri?
Yes, sellers in Missouri are legally required to fill out the Seller Disclosure Statement.
2. Is seller's disclosure required in Missouri?
Yes, sellers are legally required to make disclosures in Missouri.
3. What happens if a seller lied on Disclosure Statement in Missouri?
The buyer can proceed to sue such a seller and claim damages, including the costs of repairs.
4. Do you have to disclose a death in a house in Missouri?
No, sellers are not legally required to disclose the occurrence of prior death in the house to the buyer.
5. Can seller be sued for failure to disclose mold in Missouri?
Yes, the buyer can proceed to take legal action against seller for intentionally concealing mold disclosure.
Resources you Might Need to Sell your House Fast
- Sell My House Fast for Cash Missouri: Check out ways to sell your Missouri house fast for cash
- Best Month to Sell A House in Missouri: Know more about the best time to sell your house.
- Sell House Fast Missouri: Check out ways to sell your MO house fast
- Cash Home Buyers in Missouri: Don’t want to wait for days to sell your house? Sell your house for best cash offers in Missouri quickly within days.
- MO Real Estate Market: The housing market refers to properties bought and sold directly to buyers or through real estate brokers.
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