The Importance of Seller Disclosures

Want a home to sell? Make sure you know about seller disclosures and the importance they have in the real estate market. Your agent will give you a federal and/or state mandated disclosure form that you are in charge of filling out. These can be called anything from a Real Estate Disclosure Statement, Property Condition Disclosure, or Condition report. It is your tool to communicate to all potential buyers what condition your house is in. The more transparent you are with this form are the better. The information you provide will give buyers everything they need to know to make their big decision and could also protect you against future legal recourse. So remember, thorough and upfront disclosure is the way to go.

What can you expect to find on this form? You’ll be required to disclose the presence of radon, lead paint, asbestos, and other toxins that you may know of in your home. Fire or water damage, leaking windows, loud neighbors, siding issues, odors, and any other aspect of the property that could detract from its value must be stated. In addition, any work or upgrades that have been done on the property with or without permits can and should be disclosed. If the work was done with permits, buyers are encouraged to crosscheck the seller’s disclosure with the city building permit report. If no permit exists, buyers must be warned that this could present a fire or health hazard. Furthermore, when you disclose a problem that has already been fixed, make sure to provide documentation of the work you had done. If the problem hasn’t been fixed, expect the buyer to ask for the work to be done or ask for a price reduction. One item to note – depending on your location, disclosure documents could hold you liable in court for up to ten years after selling your home, so be meticulous, detailed, and complete.

When it comes to disclosure statements, it always pays to hire a licensed professional home inspector. Drop a few hundred dollars and you’ll know if your home is market ready or exactly what needs to be done to bring it to market. They will go through the checklist so that you can be covered and feel confident about putting your home up for bid. It is common nowadays to do this before putting your home on the market so that you can reduce selling time.

If you are interested in finding disclosure documents, follow the link FindLegalForms.com.

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