Full Disclosure Is the Way to Go
November 23rd, 2011
November 23rd, 2011
So, you’re selling your house, do you have to disclose to buyers that you’ve had problems with the windows leaking? Or, that you live within a mile of railroad tracks? Or, that the sunroom added to the house by the previous homeowner was built without permits? Yes! And here’s why.
Granted, you want to show your home at its best, but you’re obligated to disclose these issues to potential buyers. However, if you’re the buyer, it’s your responsibility to read the disclosure statements and be aware of past problems before you sign any contracts.
So, what is a disclosure? A disclosure statement informs the buyer about the home and the seller’s experiences with it that may negatively impact the home’s value or enjoyment. Disclosure statements also protect the seller from a future lawsuit.
The types of issues you have to disclose can be dependent upon the laws in your state, city, or even county. And, you may be liable for what you disclose, and don’t disclose, for up to ten years after the home’s sale. Therefore, if you know that your windows leak, or your neighbors’ son has a rock band that practices in garage, or you live near a highway or airport, it’s best to disclose it. Otherwise, if you don’t, you may regret it later. Disclosure statements are valid, legal documents that can be used in court.
Most disclosure statements are a series of questions that the seller must complete about their home and experiences with it. Additionally, if a potential buyer asks questions about the property, the seller is required to answer them, usually in written form.
Some common disclosures include:
Disclosure statements are usually provided to the buyer once you’ve accepted their offer on the home. However, in some markets, you may need to provide disclosure statements to any prospective buyer. Be advised, the buyer has the right to back out of an offer based upon what they discover in the disclosure statements.
Either way, it’s best to fully disclose any issues up front to avoid possible litigation later.
If you’re the home buyer, Grandview Lending is here to help you with your mortgage needs. Contact us today to discuss your particular situation.
We provide our clients with exceptional service and integrity which has become our hallmark.