5 min read Mar 28, 2022

Sellers Disclosure Texas: A Guide To Ace Your Disclosure Process

✍️ Editor’s Note: Understanding and dealing with sellers disclosure in Texas can be intimidating for home sellers. Here’s Houzeo’s guide to help you ace your disclosure requirements.

» BREATHE EASYAmericans listed $3.5 billion worth of properties on Houzeo.com in 2021. Houzeo simplifies figuring out your seller disclosure requirements. Start your FREE listing NOW!
Sellers Disclosure Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

Texas real estate laws require home sellers to disclose a lot of things when selling their houses. Seller disclosure notice for Texas is a multi-page document and can leave home sellers confused.

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    Houzeo offers the best possible alternatives for you to deal with disclosures.

      💲 List your property with Houzeo’s Freemium Plan

      💲 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.

    » More: Start your FREE listing NOW!

*Seller disclosures are exclusively the responsibility of the 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 as such the tips presented here should not be construed as any advice for which a real estate or attorney license is required.

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What Is A Seller’s Disclosure?

Texas sellers disclosure form is a kind of a standard checklist form containing material defects and features of the property. It 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, the seller should disclose them. However, sellers should report these defects to the best of their knowledge and in good faith. From pest infestation to pending legal issues, you should disclose any known information about your Texas house. This will help you avoid future disputes.

Sellers’ disclosure in Texas can be a little complicated to understand. So, it’s advisable to review the form with your real estate agent or lawyer as per the statutes in your state. Usually, the disclosure form is completed along with the listing paperwork – especially in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provided by the listing agent.

» More: Paperwork for Selling a House Without a Realtor

Importance Of Seller’s Disclosure

Sellers’ disclosures serve the following purpose in real estate transactions:

#ImportanceDescription
🔎Give Complete Information About The PropertyDisclosures 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 LiabilitiesOnce you disclose all the known defects present in the house or which come to light during the inspection, you could be immune from any future liability against those defects.
👍Develops CredibilityHonesty, 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.

Texas Real Estate Seller Disclosure Laws

Sellers’ disclosure laws in Texas are governed by Section 5.008 of the Property Code. It says that home sellers of single-unit residential properties must provide buyers with a Seller’s Disclosure Notice.

Texas Sellers Disclosure Exemptions

Texas Property Code lists 11 circumstances under which sellers are exempt from providing disclosures. These are as follows:

#Exemptions
1.Selling a real estate having more than one dwelling unit
2.When a property is sold by a trustee in the bankruptcy case
3.Seller disclosure does not apply to a new house that is being built
4.When an executor of a will is selling the house
5.Real estate transaction taking place between two co-workers
6.Selling process taking place to or from any governmental entity
7.When a property is transacted to the spouse or a person in the lineal line of consanguinity
8.Property being transacted between spouses in case of separation
9.In a case where the value of any dwelling does not exceed 5% of the value of the property
10.If a house is sold under a court order or is a foreclosure sale
11.When a house is sold by a trustee in bankruptcy

When Do You Have To Furnish Disclosures In Texas?

As per Section 5.008 of the Property Code, sellers are obliged to furnish the seller disclosure statement on or before the executory date of the contract. This makes sure that buyers know about the damages and defects present in the house.

If a contract is entered before providing the disclosure notice, then the buyer can terminate the contract within seven days after receiving the notice.

What Do Texans Have To Disclose When Selling Their House?

Sellers are expected to fill out the Seller’s Disclosure Notice which is provided by the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR). It is a 6-pages form that you need to fill out when selling your house in Texas. It contains 14 sections in which the following things have to be disclosed:

Section NumberThings To Be DisclosedDescription
1.Items Present on the Property This section contains a checklist of various items such as centralized A/C, dishwasher, spa, smoke detector, etc. Sellers have to disclose if these things are present in their house.

It also provides information about the water source. Sellers are also expected to disclose if their house was built before 1978. If yes, then you need to fill out the TXR-1906 concerning lead-based paint disclosure.
2.Structural Defects or MalfunctionsHere you have to disclose the defects or damages present in the structure of the house. It includes various structural features such as the floor, roof, exterior walls, etc.
3.Condition of the HouseIn this section, sellers need to disclose if they are aware of any of the conditions related to the property given in the form. This includes various conditions such as radon gas, the presence of an oak tree, water damage, previous fire, etc.
4.Item, equipment, or System That Needs RepairUnlike other sections, it is a section that a seller needs to fill out manually and disclose any known defects (that need repair) on the property.
5.Things Related to Flooding and Flood PlainThis section is a checklist wherein you need to disclose if your property is located on the flood plain, floodway, reservoir, etc. Sellers also need to disclose previous flooding information.

If the answer to some of these questions is Yes, then sellers need to fill out and attach TXR 1414.
6.Previously Claimed Flood Insurance BenefitsHere, sellers have to provide information about any previously claimed insurance for flood damage. Homes located in high-risk flood zone areas with mortgages are required to have flood insurance.

📝 Note: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages owners of properties located in flood zones to have insurance that covers their property and items within.
7.Previously Received Assistance for Flood DamagesThis is applicable for sellers who have previously received assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the U.S. Small Business Development (SBA).
8. Additional ThingsIt contains a checklist of various things that a seller needs to check off. It includes questions about Home Owner's Association (HOA), pending or previous lawsuits, rainwater harvesting system, nearby propane gas system, etc.
9.Property Survey Conducted in the Last Four YearsIn this section, sellers need to inform whether they have attached a previous survey of the property.
10.Previous Inspection HistoryIn this section, sellers need to provide information about previously conducted inspections. You need to provide information about the inspection(s) conducted in the past years only.

📝 Note: The buyer should not rely on these inspection reports to determine the condition of the property. They should hire their own inspector to verify the same.
11.Tax Exemptions Claimed by the SellerSellers have to disclose any tax exemptions they are claiming on the property at the time of sale. This may include exemptions such as agricultural, senior citizens, disabled veterans, and more.
12.Other Claims For Damage The seller needs to check "Yes" if they have filed any claim for damage other than flood damage.
13.Past Records of Unused ProceedsIn this section, sellers have to disclose if they have received any proceeds for a claim for damage and if that amount has not been used to repair the damage.
14.Presence of Smoke DetectorsHomesellers have to disclose the presence or absence of any smoke detectors in the house. Chapter 766 of the Health and Safety Code requires one or two-family houses to have smoke detectors installed. This has to be as per the local building code of the area.

What Do Sellers Not Have To Disclose?

The following information that a seller isn’t required to disclose as part of Texas’ Seller Disclosure Requirements are:

  • Suicide, death due to natural or accidental causes unrelated to the property’s condition
  • A sex offender living nearby
  • Haunted property
  • Anyone who lived on the property that has AIDS or HIV

Moreover, the information stated above isn’t completely useless. The seller can either warn the interested buyer or keep the information to themself. Either way, no legal actions can be taken in the event the information remains withheld.

Which Other Disclosure Forms Do I Have To Fill In Texas?

Apart from the Seller’s Disclosure Notice, sellers are expected to fill out the following forms when selling their property in Texas:

FormsPurpose
Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-based Paint and/or Lead-based Paint HazardsThis is applicable if your house is built before 1978. It is a federal disclosure that all American home sellers are required to furnish. You need to fill out a form for disclosing hazards related to lead paint.
Fire Alarm Installation CertificateSec. 766.002 of Texas’ Health and Safety Code Title 9 Subtitle A Chapter 766 Subchapter A states that smoke detectors should be installed by local building codes. 

📝 Note: The information and format of the Fire Alarm Installation Certificate must be determined by the state fire marshal

Texas Real Estate Disclosure Forms

Home sellers need to fill out the following forms as a part of Texas disclosures:

Click on the above image to download Texas Seller's Disclosure fillable pdf
Click on the above image to download Texas Seller’s Disclosure fillable pdf
Click on the above image to download Federal Lead Based Hazard Disclosure Form
Download the Federal Lead-Based Hazard Disclosure Form by clicking on the above image
Click on the image to download Fire Alarm Installation Certificate
Click on the above image to download Fire Alarm Installation Certificate

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Consequences of Lying On Texas Seller’s Disclosure

There are 3 actions a buyer can take if a seller lied on a property disclosure statement in Texas. 

Deceptive Trade Consumer Protection ActThe Act makes any false or misleading statement or deceptive act that was made to induce the buyer into buying unlawful. Further, any misrepresentations regarding the quality or standard of the property which induce the consumer into buying the house are unlawful.

The buyer can claim monetary damages against the losses faced due to the material defect.
Statutory Fraud ActA case of fraud is brought against a seller when they misrepresent or fail to disclose any fact which could influence the buyer about entering into the contract.

In such a situation, the seller pays exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, and other court costs if found guilty. An action can be taken under this Act where the defect is concerned with environmental hazards. 

Under The Statutory Fraud Act, it is not so important to prove the seller’s prior knowledge about the defect. Hence, a suit under this Act is more dangerous for the sellers.

Common-Law Fraud
Apart from these Acts, a buyer can sue under common law for fraud or misrepresentation. Because the buyer needs to prove the fraudulent intent of the seller under this suit, several buyers opt for the first two options.

Lying on seller disclosure may lead to facing court proceedings and monetary or punitive damages followed by the rescission of the contract for sale.

Most 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 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.

» More: How To List On MLS For Sale By Owner Without A Realtor

Tips To Minimize Issues in Disclosure Documents

Review And VerifyThere’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 QuestionsAsk questions when in doubt. This would help you in avoiding future troubles.
Hire A Professional InspectorA professional inspector can help you gather backup information about the property’s condition. You can also opt for a pre-inspection before listing.
Disclose EverythingTo avoid problems in your home disclosure statement disclose everything you know honestly. Even though it’s a minor issue, you must disclose it.
Get A Licensed Agent InvolvedThe best way to avoid disclosure issues is to get a licensed real estate agent. Agents can help you manage and assist you in the process along the way.
    ✍️ 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.

    » More: Start your FREE listing NOW!

Final Word: Seller Disclosure Requirements In Texas Are Complex

Level of ComplexityAverage
Is Texas a Caveat Emptor State? *No
Is Texas a Non-Disclosure State? **Yes

*Caveat Emptor Rule means states that it is the buyer’s responsibility to find out if there are major or minor defects with the property. And if he/she does not perform the necessary due diligence to inspect, it’s entirely not the seller’s liability if the property does not meet the expectation.

**In a nondisclosure state, the selling price of a house is not available to the masses on an open-source.

So, how difficult is it for you to deal with sellers’ disclosure in Texas?

Seller disclosures requirements in Texas are a little complicated. Selling your house FSBO is usually good but then you would have to deal with all the disclosures on your own. This demands for you to be aware of all the disclosure requirements and any mistake can cost you dearly.

Dealing with seller disclosures in Texas comes with its own set of challenges and can give sellers sleepless nights if not dealt with properly. Houzeo can help you with this.

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 Texas seller disclosures separately.

Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is seller's disclosure required in Texas?

Yes, sellers need to provide disclosures when selling their houses in Texas.

What is a seller's disclosure in Texas?

Sellers need to furnish Seller's Disclosure Notice when selling their house in Texas.

Does seller have to disclose previous inspection in Texas?

Sellers need to disclose information about the inspection(s) conducted in the past 4 years.

Is Texas a buyer beware state?

No, Texas is not a buyer beware state.

Do you have to disclose a death in a house in Texas?

You need not disclose a death in Texas when selling your home if it's not related to the property's condition.

What is the Texas disclosure statement?

Texas Property Code requires home sellers to fill out the Texas Seller's Disclosure Statement. Sellers disclose various facts, defects, and damages present in the house through this form.

Who is exempt from sellers disclosure in Texas?

Texas Property Code enlists 11 circumstances under which sellers are exempted from seller disclosures.

How to fill out a Texas sellers disclosure?

Sellers need to fill out the Seller's Disclosure Notice when selling their house in Texas. It has 14 sections through which sellers need to disclose facts and defects about the property. You need to check off all the questions and also fill a few sections of the form manually to provide additional details.

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