How Long Are You Liable After Selling A House?

When we look at selling the house in trust, many sellers may wonder about the many responsibilities they might have to face after they are done selling their house. Not having the right information about what might be the responsibilities and how to deal with them can leave them confused and exhausted.

Whether you are an investor or a first time seller, the potential problems can make the process highly complex and you might make an uninformed decision. Well, if you are looking for the right information on this and don’t want this to happen to you, we have you covered.

It is also crucial for sellers to know about the processes before selling their house in a trust. So, we will provide you with all the information you need here.

Who is Liable?

It is the seller of the house who is liable. As a seller of the house, state requires you to provide all the information to the potential buyers. One important thing to note is that this should be done before buyers give you offers.

These state laws include disclosing every bit of information such as repairs and damages etc. Also, one of the major misconceptions among sellers is that the liability period lasts for a very short time, however, this is not true. 

It would be shocking for the sellers to note that they can be legally liable by the state for different potential problems for even more then five years. Well, this information can be very daunting for the sellers but it is there to ensure proper safety and security for the buyers in the market. Sellers are liable for any kind of misrepresentation under different acts of the state like the Misrepresentation act.

This also includes not disclosing the information that might be important for the buyer to know before making a decision. The state can further extend this liability if the buyer discovers any issue after buying the house. So, selling the house in trust can be a very straightforward and extremely complicated process at the same time.

What Should a Seller do?

As a seller of the property in trust, it is your responsibility to disclose every tiny bit of information that you think can be a problem for you in the future. For this, a proper informing session with the buyer is essential.

To avoid any kind of issues, you can consult a real estate agency. Real estate agency can help the seller and buyer streamline the entire process and ensure everything is clear between the two parties. You can always opt for selling the house in trust by yourself; however, to avoid long-term issues, one must involve a professional. But, ensure the agent or the agency has good experience and is well informed about the state laws.

In this way, there are situations where you might share liability with another party. For example, if your agent hides something you told them or misrepresents a defect, they will be liable along with you, and this can be shared. Again, this is a highly positive side of this. 

How is the new owner also liable?

The new owner of the property also has liability on their side. Legally, they also have a responsibility to remove the problems they face. Even though another party might have misrepresented the property’s condition, the new owner must take reasonable steps to address the issue and limit the harm it causes.

For instance, if a seller is selling the house in trust, they are liable for a known pest problem they failed to disclose.

However, if the new owner does nothing and lets the issue get worse, they will share some of the liability. Again, this process is equally complicated for sellers and buyers.

How can new owners get help?

New homeowners or buyers of the property can also get help through insurance companies as these insurance companies also inspect the property in great detail, and it is hard to miss any significant problem from their side. Buyers can look at it as well.

There is also a home warranty on which the buyers can rely, and this is how they can make an informed decision.

This highlights how there are also ways for the buyers to ensure what they are signing for is legit. Suing the previous owner is not the only way they have to fix the issue.

How to deal with the Agent?

Dealing With Agent

Well, the first step is to look for real-state agencies that should have been working in your area for a long time.

The second step is to keep track of communications with your agent so you can record what you disclosed to them, and this is one of the most essential steps among all. This way, the agency can share the blame if they missed a significant defect or failed to report it. 

It is also important to get information from their previous clients and see if they were satisfied with their services. Never opt for real estate agencies that are new in the business because this makes the process even more complicated for both sellers and buyers.


Now that we have covered everything you need to know, it is also time to assist you. If you live in Virginia, HR Property Doctor has you covered. We have been in this business for a very long time now, and with an experienced team of professionals, our commitment to work is what we are proud of. 

HR Property Doctor ensures it provides its clients with the best services in the market. From selling the house in trust to buyers and ensuring there is no misrepresentation from the seller side and the buyer gets the best property according to needs, we do everything according to state laws and always take full responsibility. For selling the house in trust, book a consultation right now to avail of our services.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a reputable local house-buying professional, also a real estate agent (Virginia). Count on his nearly fifteen (15) years of expertise in being part of resolving any issues that may threaten transactions, being accessible, and answering questions, as well as remaining transparent throughout closing transactions. One of Paul's Favorite Quotes: "To Give Anything Less Than Your Best Is To Sacrifice the Gift."

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