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:
- Work done to the property – with or without permits
- Termite problems
- Property line disputes
- Neighborhood issues, such as nearby construction and frequent traffic on nearby roads
- Problems with electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems or appliances
- Liens on the property
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.