Deception In Your Description: Lying About Your Neighborhood Can Threaten Your Home Sale

When selling a home, marketing can be one thing that makes or breaks a deal. Quality photos, detailed descriptions, and great showings have the potential to invite people in and win them over. It's not wrong to want to boost the image of the property you're selling by puffing it up a bit, but be careful that you don't cross the line into deception. Serious lies, intentional omissions, and other kinds of false information can lead to grave consequences that not only hinder a sale but also affect your reputation as a seller.

It's common to advertise a home for less than its actual price or claim that you are entertaining many offers to draw interest, but when you fail to disclose serious defects or provide vital information, it can bring about problems. Here's the reason why certain lies about your neighborhood and other characteristics of your home can threaten your home sale.

Why you should be honest about your neighborhood

Avoid misrepresenting your home when it involves its location, safety, and the relationship you have with your neighbors at all costs. Be honest about things like the crime levels and whether the home is in a flood or earthquake zone. You should also disclose any continuous disputes between you and your neighbors. Some common points of tension are noisiness, pets, parking spots, and trees that grow over fence lines. Has someone ever died in the house or is it near a cemetery? These are some things you could disclose as well.

Lying or leaving out information about your neighborhood in any of these ways can threaten your home sale because you can never know how important a detail is to a potential buyer. While something might seem insignificant to you, it might be serious enough for them to back out of a sale. Perhaps it means additional costs for them down the line or they simply have a personal implication against it. In addition to losing this sale, it can prevent other buyers from making offers because homes that have been put back on the market become red flags.

Other lies & omissions to avoid

In addition to facts about the neighborhood, the other things you need to disclose in the process of selling your home are directly concerned with health and safety. Some of these include pest problems, a termite infestation, roof damage, water damage, unpermited remodeling, and any knowledge of lead-based paint in the home. You should also avoid downplaying how long the house has been on the market or claiming that old upgrades were made recently.

Whether you are lawfully required to or not, honestly providing these types of disclosures starts you off on the right foot with any potential buyers and can also keep you protected in a legal battle down the line. This is also how you maintain a good reputation as a seller. Most of these things can be easily uncovered during a home inspection or will eventually come to light anyway, so be on the safe side by showing honesty and responsibility from the outset.