Seller Disclosure – What’s your exposure? – SELLERS USAGE
The Sellers Disclosure is your opportunity to inform potential buyers about the condition of your property at the time of listing your property for sale. The document is fairly extensive and covers a lot of important information about the home.
Sellers will at times ask “Do you think we need to disclose this information?” The correct answer is yes! (The saying in our business is “Disclose, disclose, disclose!”) All known information about a property needs to be put into the Sellers Disclosure. If as a seller, you view that disclosing an item may be received negatively by the potential buyers, that perspective has no real relevance.
A common discussion item is if the Seller(s) have had water in their basement. But Joe, it really was not much water! The question that I have is, was the source of the water identified and the problem fixed? If so, then you are home free. It is then written into the Sellers Disclosure for the buyer to absorb and ask additional questions. (This is also a good reason to keep receipts on any major repairs. Proof that as a homeowner you took care of the problem.)
In my opinion the Sellers Disclosure protects the Seller from themselves. As in the discussion above, buyers do care if there is a water penetration problem on a property. Yet are realistic enough to know that it is not uncommon, yet want to know that the Seller corrected the issue.
An ongoing discussion, to highlight the importance of this document is as follows: If you purchased a home and were provided a Sellers Disclosure stating the home had foundation repairs. Then you failed to disclose this information to a potential buyer(s) of your property. Could you be held liable for fixing those items after the sale of the home was completed and a problem is experienced by your buyer? There is no specific answer to that question from a Realtors perspective. And no realtor should answer that question in my opinion. At that point in time you would call in other licensed professionals for a legal opinion. However, if you need a legal opinion, then maybe complete disclosure would be the right answer.
Please read the top of the Sellers Disclosure before jumping to questions. This document is posted on this site for you to review. Also, if a condition occurs after you list your home you are duty bound to update the disclosure.
Contact me today if you have questions on buying or selling and how to best handle the items on a seller’s disclosure, (605) 381-1665.