Home Selling in Grand Rapids>Question Details

Yoga, Home Seller in San Antonio, TX

Should I disclose a paint stain on carpet the size of a lid of a quart of paint. Can they sue me for this stain in the basement.?

Asked by Yoga, San Antonio, TX Thu Dec 22, 2011

An ottoman was over it. The inspectors did not catch it.

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Annette Lawrence’s answer
Although the spirit of 'disclose everything' is well intended, the reality is everything can not be disclosed.

For instance, in my area of FLorida, do you need to disclose that the oak in your neighbors yard could become a eagles nest this spring therefore placing real restrictions in what you can do in your back yard between Nov and March. An extreme example of course. The argument will be...should you have known? It has been in the news previous years of other property owners who were ambushed by such a predicament. Should you have know? Should you have anticipated? Should you have speculated? Where is the limit for disclosure?

It's a losing situation. The banks who sell large volumes of real estate don't disclose a thing. Investors who never live in the home they sell need not disclose a thing. A residential home seller should have the same option, but they do not.

In your case, the stain was known and one could argue was actually concealed from the buyer by a strategically placed ottoman. You could argue that the buyer had 'final walk through' opportunity to see a vacant home in which nothing was concealed. As others have said, you should offer to do the right thing. You may find out they already knew and dismissed the issue because they had grander plans for that floor. Your integrity, however, will be the quality that will be remembered.
Web Reference: http://www.MyDunedin.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Yes...I always go with: when in doubt disclose.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 16, 2012
Yoga - What dio you end up doing? We alsway like to hear an update when we give advice!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 16, 2012
This is a tough one. Before owners move their furniture out their are a lot of hidden items. You look like you may have to settle with the buyer and work something out. Some buyer may have in tentions of replacing carpet but other buyers may plan on keeping the carpet for many years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
I'm agent, people will and can see things like that right away. Most of my buyers change out the carpet and re-paint the home. They want it to be more their own taste. You don't have to disclose it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 24, 2011
Yes, disclose it. The alternative is a walk-through issue or liability down the line. The fact that you are asking this question means you really know the answer. You should disclose all known defects. Be glad it's a relatively small item ( carpet stain ).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Disclose, disclose, disclose. The Buyer is counting on the carpeting being in good condition & may now have to repair/replace it. Not good. Dislcose it & come up with a solution that works for you both, otherwise, this could come back & bite you in the ...
The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
Phone: 508-790-2000
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
First, you should have mentioned this before the inspection, when it would have just been a routine matter. Now you've put yourself between a rock and a hard place,because they're bound to find the stain, and when they do, they may begin to question your truthfulness on other matters. I suggest you disclose the stain... and then offer them the ottoman! At least that way you can make it a bit humorous.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Everything should be disclosed. An inspection is not meant to find stains that the seller hid under furniture. It is always best to be honest and truthful
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Always disclose all knowledge about your property. You need not be an expert or be required to get 3rd party opinions but you need to be honest to the best of your knowledge. If you just forgot about the stain in the original discloser then probably the best course of action is to offer to replace the carpeting in that area or see if a little money towards new carpet would help. (They may put the couch there themselves) When I list a property where there are stains on the carpet (which almost all have after day 1) I usually advise the client to include verbiage in the discloser such as “carpet is approximately 3 years old and has various imperfections.”
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011

Your answer may be seen via remembering how you would want to be treated as the buyer........

The right decision is very clear.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 23, 2011
Most buyers are going to put in new carpet or laminated flooring, so there isn't usually any great shock to knowing about a stain. Why have sleepness nights? Disclosure is important to you because it protects you from exactly what you are worried about. As long as you disclose everything you have knowledge of, you will be in compliance of the disclosure rules. This is why it is important to have an agent on your side to explain the rules and help you get some rest! If the buyers are unhappy, you might consider giving them a credit towards carpet cleaning or carpet replacement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011
Just the fact that you're asking the question tells me your concerned about it. Disclose it. It may not be that much of an issue to the buyer. If it is, you want to know right away so you can do something about it.

As for whether or not they can sue you, I'd suggest contacting a lawyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011

Disclose it. It is always better to deal with things up front.

Angie Simpson
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011
YES, I'm in favor of over disclosure versus under disclosure. If the stain is huge and obvious, you really have two choices; disclose or change the carpet. If you leave a project for the buyer to address, expect a lower offer and final selling price. Since you mention an inspector missing it in what could be taken as an attempt to hide it, DISCLOSE.
The resolution will be cheaper and friendlier if you make the buyer aware. Carpet is relatively cheap, so expect to do at least a partial replacement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011
Whether or not you can be sued for something like this is a question better suited for your lawyer. As a human beng (not just a Realtor) I would recommend that you disclose this information. When you choose to do the right thing, everything seems to go smoother and everybody is better off.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011
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