What You Should Know About Real Estate Disclosures
Posted Friday, January 23, 2015
When walking into real estate that is listed for sale, you might notice the seller has applied a fresh coat of paint or installed new carpet. While most sellers make updates like this to make their home more appealing to buyers, they could also be trying to hide faults within their home, such as water damage or cracks.
Sellers are obligated to disclose all major property issues, but buyers should double-check the disclosure statement before signing any sort of contract. Below is important information about real estate disclosures:
- If you know it, disclose it. Don’t try to hide anything negative about a home you’re selling because it could come back to bite you. There are standard documents that sellers can fill out, but know that verbal disclosures can also be documented.
- Things you should disclose. Disclose all renovations, whether or not you were required to obtain a permit. Other normal disclosures include property line disputes, termite problems, indoor pets, chronic neighborhood disruptions and appliance issues.
- Disclosures and inspections are not the same thing. Some people get these confused. A disclosure is something the seller fills out and gives to the buyer. An inspection is conducted by an independent party and might bring to light issues of which the seller is unaware.
- Improper disclosure can result in a lawsuit. If buyers quickly discover that their new home has serious undisclosed issues or renovations that were hidden and aren’t up to code, they can ask their real estate agent to confront the seller’s agent and seek a settlement. If the seller does not cooperate, the buyers have the right to file a lawsuit.
If you’re getting ready to sell your real estate and would like help deciding what to include in the disclosure, or if you’d like to buy a home and want to be sure you’re getting all the proper disclosures, I can help. Give me a call or email me today.