What Do You Have to Disclose When Selling a House in Ontario

Posted Aug 16th 2021 in

Are you thinking of selling your home or buying your first one? It might be worthwhile to understand what sellers need to disclose to buyers. As a seller, this can help you avoid a number of legal issues in the future. As a buyer, you can see where your vulnerabilities lie during the purchase, keeping in mind that there are things a seller may not be telling you. Here is what a seller needs to disclose before selling. 

One thing to note about disclosing information is that private sellers have different regulations than individuals selling with a real estate agent. Real estate agents have a code of conduct and ethics they must follow that private sellers do not have to abide by.

Any Obvious Damage

Obvious damage that impacts the home’s integrity and value either structurally or visually. This can include water damage, mold, and dead sockets. When you are buying a home, you should always get a home inspection. A home inspector will be able to pick up on a number of things you would not notice that could become big issues later on.

It is important to note that there are some hazards a home inspector may not be able to detect.

  • Sewer line
  • Mold
  • Certain pests and bugs
  • Fireplace
  • Internal electrical
  • Building code

There are plenty of issues with homes that cannot always be determined without digging into walls and foundation. For that reason, many things a seller must disclose have nothing to do with the home structure itself, and instead, the environment around the home. 

Any Future Road Plans 

If there are major road changes being proposed or have already been approved, they must be disclosed to future buyers.

Any Neighbourhood Risks

Any common noises, smells, or hazards must be disclosed to potential buyers. These all impact the quality of life at a home. 

These are all things that a real estate agent must disclose. One of the reasons it is not recommended to buy privately and instead through a real estate agent is because some private sellers may not have to disclose all this critical information.

The following are things that do not need to be disclosed when a home is being sold:

Whether someone died in the house

This is a tricky one because it is not a legal requirement to disclose this information; however, many real estate agents do if they know.

If the house was previously being rented

Sellers do not have to tell you they used to rent out the home if they do not want to.

Any renovations

Any previous renovations that were made do not have to be disclosed. That being said, real estate agents may be able to ask the right questions and let you know what the original house layout was so you can see any differences.

It is important for you to have a real estate agent who asks the right questions. This way, you ensure the home you are buying is safe for you and your family to move into.

To get started with your selling or buying process, call the top real estate agents in Oshawa, Clarington, Courtice, and Bowmanville.