When selling a home, disclosing certain information about the home is required under Illinois law. Many people may think these disclosures only have to do with known issues with the house. The truth is, they can include so much more, such as inclusions and exclusions. Why does including these two things matter when completing residential real estate transactions?

When a potential buyer comes to look at a home, he or she will want to know what is staying with the house and what is going. If a seller wants to keep anything — appliances, mirrors, lighting fixtures and such — he or she needs to make that known on the disclosure document. The seller needs to do the same for anything he or she plans to leave behind.

Why does this matter? Legally, a buyer can file a lawsuit against a seller who fails to disclose any known issues with the house, who takes items on the inclusion list or who takes things he or she did not add to the exclusion list. Simply put, buyers have the right to know upfront what they are getting with a purchase.

With residential real estate transactions, the more detailed the disclosure information the better for the seller. It may remove him or her from liability should the buyer try to sue later. Illinois residents who are preparing to sell their homes can speak to legal counsel about disclosures, including the specifics of inclusions and exclusions. An experienced real estate attorney can also assist in preparing a contract of sale so that it is appropriately worded and protects the client.