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To Speak… or Not to Speak? That’s the Question when Buying or Selling a Home in Tennessee!


Are you considering selling or purchasing a home? If so, Tennessee law requires that certain disclosures be met before you close.

Tennessee law requires owners of real property to disclose any known material defects that may exist on the property to future purchasers.

Roof issue that needs disclosure

However, all that is required is disclosure. Owners must provide a written list of any known material defects that may exist prior to entering into a purchase and sale agreement. This notice is commonly referred as a “Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure form.” The only time a homeowner is not required to disclose this information is if they are exempt under T.C.A § 66-5-209 or the purchaser/tenant acquires the real property “as is”, with no seller warranties or representations as to the condition of property.

What if I have no idea if any material defects exist in the home I’m selling?

If you’re a homeowner, and unaware that a defect exists, then there is no need to stress. Tennessee law only requires that you provide knowledge of any known defect. An owner does not have a duty to undertake or provide any additional investigations or inspections to determine if a defect exists. Actual knowledge is all that is required. Remember, honesty is the best solution!

What if I know there are defects to my property, but I fail to disclose?

Failure to disclose this information to an owner could result in legal action by the purchaser. This would be applicable to the actual damages incurred, including additional recovery allowed in law or equity, and/or termination of the purchase and sale agreement. The purchaser must seek to remedy against the owner within 1 year from the date he/she received the disclosure statement or the closing date, whichever occurs first.

Is a realtor bound to disclose property defects?

If you are a licensed Realtor, remember, you are legally and ethically bound to inform the owners of the house you are selling, along with the purchasers, of their rights and obligations in regards to disclosure. For guidance and questions, refer to National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics or consult with your managing broker.

If you have more questions about disclosure, or anything related to real estate law, contact an experienced Batson Nolan attorney. The Batson Nolan Real Estate Group is a highly trained and experienced group of attorneys, real estate paralegals and support staff who are equipped to handle all aspects of commercial and residential real estate. With hundreds of years of combined legal experience, we are committed to helping our clients and to achieving results that exceed expectations.