LEARN THESE BASIC RULES OF SELLER DISCLOSURE SO YOU DON¬íT GET SUED
It’s time to sell your house. You’ve spruced it up, and are ready to show it in the best light. although there are some minor things that may need fixing or replacing, how much are you truly required to state up front? “Seller Disclosure” refers to a document prepared by the seller, for the buyer, that states the history of the home, known issues with the property, and things such as problems with major appliances, repair issues or history of leaks and contamination. Although the requirements for seller disclosure vary from state to state (ask our office for the specifics for Rancho Cucamonga), here are some general guidelines:
It’s better to disclose than not
Not disclosing potential problems in a home can give the seller a lot of legal trouble. Seller disclosure boils down to “anything that may affect a buyer’s decision.” In general, things such as the physical condition of the property and any dangerous conditions need to be listed, as well as any lawsuits or liens that affect the value of the property.
Some minor things, such as a drafty window, or a leak in the garage, may seem small to you. After all, those things are pretty normal. But – if you aren’t disclosing these, you can run into trouble! Even things like recent repairs should be on the disclosure list, in case the job was done poorly.
Provide copies of your inspection forms
While this isn’t mandatory, it can save you, the seller, a lot of headache at the closing time. In fact, contrary to your instincts, sellers should disclose anything and everything – giving buyers all the information up front. this protects you, the seller, as buyers won’t be able to claim ignorance of a maintenance issue or structural defect. It’s also a show of good faith on the part of the seller.
Can ignorance hurt you?
Although there is a chance that you may face a lawsuit by the buyer, the courts typically won’t hold you accountable for issues you were unaware of. If you’ve had your home inspected, and something was missed by both you and the inspector, then you should be in the clear. Some buyers will ask about anything and everything. If you don’t have the answer to a buyer’s question, don’t guess – it’s better to tell them you don’t know and place the responsibility on the buyer to find out.
It is always better to disclose and to document any inspections, repairs, and even general maintenance. It’s a good way to protect the investment you’ve made on your property and can protect you as a seller when it comes time to list your house on the market.
Each area is different, and we are experts in the Rancho Cucamonga area – call or text us anytime! 909-261-4160