While sellers will likely remember the big problems like a flood issue, a small fire, termites that were treated, etc. little things may slip the mind if they have been living in a house for a decade or more.
The Florida real estate laws do put a responsibility on the seller to divulge information that will adversely effect the property value. Likewise, Florida real estate laws place a responsibility on real estate agents to divulge material facts that are known but not readily visible.
Let me put it in its most simplest terms... Disclose, Disclose, Disclose! Although I am not an attorney my guess is if a defect is really serious down the road, perhaps years, there may be some legal implications for failing to disclose material defects.
Eventually if a home that is priced right will have a buyer. And the buyer will have a home inspection performed.
The home inspection will probably reveal some issues. Your buyer may walk away - especially if there was an attempt to hide or not disclose a major problem. Or your buyer may ask for repairs. Your buyer may ask for a price reduction or some other credit.
The best course of action for anyone selling their home - disclose, reveal, disclose. After all, like your mom said, honesty is the best policy.
[Hint: get a pre-listing inspection and address any issues!]
As part of the listing process the form we use as Florida real estate agents require the seller to answer questions. There is even a miscellaneous question at the end of the form that provides sellers an opportunity to disclose something, even if not asked about, they think is important. Although I do not advise customers how to answer the questions I do offer this advice - if you were the buyer, would you like to know this?
Finally, if I recommend a buyer client have an inspection done or an appraisal (in cash deals) and the buyer declines that is their choice.
But with me as your agent you will be asked to sign a document acknowledging my recommendation.