Ready to sell your home? Great! Let’s get going! Among the many items we’ll need to tackle, one of the most important is the disclosure form. This is where you need to be open and honest about problems associated with your property, such as prior flooding or a defective roof. Not only is it required by law, but it can help lead to smoother negotiations.
In fact, full disclosure – a seller’s obligation to disclose known material facts about properties for sale – is critical when it comes to a successful real estate transaction. Disclosure laws were created to protect buyers, but they also protect sellers. If all of the information about a property is revealed upfront, you’re less likely to be involved in disputes and lawsuits after the sale.
I can answer all your questions about disclosures, but here are some quick items that you might find helpful:
1. What’s on a disclosure form?
The disclosure form includes a thorough list of questions about your property that you’ll need to answer. For example, if you’ve had termite treatment or damage in the past, that’s something that prospective buyers must know. Or, if the roof has a leak, buyers need to know that, too.
There are also federal laws about disclosure. For example, someone selling a home built before 1978 must disclose any known lead-based paint problems. Intentionally withholding information about a property when you sell can have serious legal ramifications.
You don’t want to inadvertently leave something out and have to deal with expense, hassles and possible legal consequences later. Also, if you’ve had previous inspections done in the last few years, it might be in your best interest to share a copy of the report with the next prospective buyer.
2. What to expect from buyers
When you bought your home, you wanted to make a sound decision by gathering as much information as possible about your investment. Your potential buyers will want to do the same thing. Most buyers will hire an inspector to look at your property. The inspector will provide a report to the buyers detailing deficiencies or potential problems. An inspector might suggest to the buyer to hire a specialist to look into specific elements of your property, such as a structural engineer to examine a potential foundation problem. The buyer and seller can negotiate who pays for these inspections.
A buyer does not have to provide the inspection report to you to negotiate repairs. And even if a buyer shares the inspection report, he or she cannot force you to make repairs. However, when the buyer provides the inspection report to you, you now have knowledge of information in the report and will have to disclose any material defects to other buyers.
3. For everyone’s protection
Disclosure is a necessary facet of the real estate transaction, helping to protect both buyers and sellers. If you have questions about disclosure, please ask me. I’m happy to assist!
Pictured above: 705 W. Elsmere in Beacon Hill is a completely updated, precious cottage that’s charming in every way! Designer colors, custom finishes, beautiful windows and open concept flow make the floorplan feel very spacious. The home was completely refurbished 2 years ago, and has been immaculately maintained. It feels brand new, but maintains the charm of this amazing area of the city. The detached, oversized garage could be a wonderful shop or studio. The frig & all window treatments convey – this one is “move-in ready”! Listed by my Nix Realty Company colleague Jill Fitch. Let’s go see it!