Seller’s Disclosures in Texas Real Estate Law

TREC Seller’s Disclosure

Houston Real Estate Transactions

Attorney Tommy Holmes discusses how Holmes Law, PLLC can help you in your Texas Real Estate matter. The video below discusses required seller’s disclosures and also summarizes several issues of concern in the purchase and sale of Texas Real Estate. Call (832) 509-0445 to speak to a Houston_Real Estate Lawyer.

Caveat Venditor – Let The Seller Beware

Texas Real Estate Law requires the Seller to disclose certain things to the buyer. Including general concerns and problems with the property or the structures on the property.

You can find these required seller disclosures in the Texas Property Code 5.008.

Texas Property Code 5.008

Seller’s Disclosure – Texas

We have embedded the Seller’s Disclosures from the Texas Property Code. You can see that a few examples include…

  • Condition, or Presence of Appliances, Equipment, and Fixtures
  • Condition of Driveways & Parking Structures

These apply to sellers of commercial and residential real estate. Often times commercial real estate vendors have more at stake because the property value tends to be a higher dollar amount.

texas sellers disclosure lawsInspection Reports

Inspection reports should include any known or discoverable conditions. Examples include the presence of mold, mildew, termite damage, rodent infestation, and flood damage.

Easement Disclosures & Title Issues

The seller must disclose existing easements on the property as well as any known title defects.

You may also be interested in…Texas Tax Foreclosure Sales.

Contributing Authors – Tommy Holmes III & Scott Collister


Possible things to add to your the Sellers Disclosures/Inspection Reports…

Attorney’s notes about the standard language above…

  1. Insertion of Stronger Seller Disclosures — i.e., an actual representation and warranty by the seller that certain negative conditions do not exist — Disclosure of defects and conditions is limited to “the seller’s actual knowledge and awareness” – not exactly the highest standard. Buyer may not only want to know about any repairs, but may want to see the contractor paperwork in order to determine the exact nature and extent of the repairs (i.e, whether the repairs were sufficiently thorough or if more work may be needed in the future) as well as whether or not there is a transferable warranty (as is often the case with foundation repairs).
  2. Seller’s Disclosure Is Not a Warranty — At the top of the first page of the Seller’s Disclosure, in all caps, the TREC form (mirroring only statutory language) tells us that “IT IS NOT A WARRANTY OF ANY KIND BY SELLER OR SELLER’S AGENTS.”
    1. Thus, if buyer cannot rely upon the Disclosure as a representation and warranty by the seller, it’s utility is certainly diminished, as is its basis for a future deceptive trade practices act lawsuit if seller deception is later discovered. Therefore, client’s attorney may seek to convert the contents of the Seller’s Disclosure into a set of express representations and warranties.
  3. Require that the Seller State, Swear or Affirm the Disclosure is True and Correct — At no point does the Seller state, swear, or affirm that the Disclosure of Property Condition is true and correct (although most assume that this is indicated by the seller’s signature, but the form does not say that.).
    1. Thus, from a Buyer’s perspective, there is no substitute for maximum, unconditional disclosure backed up by recourse against the Seller that survives closing.
  4. Previous Inspection Reports — Require previous inspection reports be provided by Seller as a contract obligation. Regardless, the buyer should always at least request copies of any such reports.

***See also…

The last sentence of Paragraph 19 above indicates that seller untruthful news is only a “default.” That should be particularly objectionable to a careful buyer. Seller deception happens. Period. And it’s sometimes uncovered before closing. The problem, here, is that the standard language deprives the buyer of a critical opportunity to weigh the seriousness of the seller’s deception and, at buyer’s option, declare the K terminated. In such event, the buyer should be entitled to not just to full return of the earnest money but also to compensation for inspection fees, appraisal fees, survey, attorney’s fees, etc. Your broker should be helping with all of this.