Twila E. Palmer's Blog
What Is The Disclosure Statement?
Disclosure statements are used in many of life’s situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a seller’s disclosure are:
- Water in the basement
- Updates made to the home
- Known pests
- Paranormal activity
- Death on the property
- Past fires
- Nearby major construction projects
- Title 5 sewerage issues
Disclosures Serves As Protections
The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyer’s perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying.
On the seller’s side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.
How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure
Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted. The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasn’t properly presented on the statement.
How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?
The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.
What’s Disclosed To Buyers?
The disclosure doesn’t have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that you’re selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.
It’s easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the city’s zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family.
Problems that you’ll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions.
Remember that the disclosure doesn’t substitute the buyer’s right to a professional inspection of the property. It’s important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure they’re making a good investment.
After you accept a homebuyer's offer on your residence, he or she likely will complete a home inspection. Then, the homebuyer may choose to move forward with the home purchase, rescind or modify his or her offer or ask the home seller to complete home improvements.
Ultimately, a home seller is likely to have many questions following a home inspection, including:
1. What did the homebuyer discover during the home inspection?
As a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you can boost your chances of generating substantial interest in your house. Plus, when a homebuyer performs a home inspection, he or she is unlikely to find any problems that may slow down the home selling process.
An informed home seller may conduct a home appraisal prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This appraisal enables a home seller to identify potential trouble areas within a residence and explore ways to address such problems.
If you failed to perform a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. For home sellers, it is important to see a home inspection as a learning opportunity. And if a homebuyer identifies problems with your residence during a home inspection, you should try to work with him or her to resolve these issues.
2. Should I stand my ground after a home inspection?
Be realistic after a home inspection, and you'll be able to make the best decision about how to proceed.
For example, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty may address major home problems prior to listing his or her house on the real estate market. This home seller will dedicate the necessary time and resources to correct home problems and ensure a homebuyer is able to purchase a top-notch residence.
But what happens if a homebuyer identifies problems during a home inspection, despite the fact that a home seller already tried to correct various home issues?
A home seller should consider the homebuyer's inspection report findings closely. If minor home repairs are needed, he or she may be able to fix these problems to move forward with a home sale. Or, if a homebuyer is making exorbitant demands, a home seller may feel comfortable allowing the homebuyer to walk away from a home sale.
3. How should I proceed after a home inspection?
A home inspection can be stressful for both a home seller and a homebuyer. After the home inspection is completed, both parties will be better equipped than ever before to make informed decisions.
If a homebuyer encounters many problems with a residence, he or she will let the home seller know about these issues. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs, offer a discounted price on a home or refuse to perform the requested home maintenance.
Working with a real estate agent is ideal for a home seller, particularly when it comes to home inspections. A real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf and ensure you streamline the home selling process.