Column - March 2020
What Does It Mean When My Realtor Says Texas is a Non-Disclosure State?
Very simply, Real Estate Sales Prices are not listed in any publicly recorded documents nor is the sales price shared with a governmental agency.
Texas is a “non-disclosure state” because no law exists that requires that real estate sales price information be provided to third parties. Third parties in this instance, are different state and local government agencies, specifically taxing agencies.
The warranty deed is the legal document transferring ownership of a property that is part of the public record. In Texas, the sales price is not on this document but instead wording something like “Ten Dollars and other good and valuable consideration” is used.
If a mortgage is utilized in the purchase, the amount of the mortgage is publicly available in both the warranty deed and the deed of trust, but not the total sales price.
Why is this a benefit?
Because of non-disclosure, the true value of a home is sometimes much, much higher than what is indicated by the local tax appraisal district, which is the amount that you pay property taxes on. Do you want to pay more taxes? Of course not!
Many online sites, such as Zillow, attempt to provide you a “value” for a home. The fact of the matter is that, in Texas, ONLY Realtors and Appraisers have access to true sales price data, which is the most important data used when establishing home value.
There are only a few reasons a real estate agent will ‘disclose’ a sales price; sharing can be done with clients for purposes of pricing homes, making offers on homes, and other client specific reasons, like leasing, financing and appraising a property.
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Gina M. Sohmer, is a veteran, a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute, a Seller’s Representative Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, a 2019 Winner of the Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite Award, and a REALTOR® with eXp Realty, LLC.