Getting to Know the Seller’s Disclosure

If you’re looking to sell your home, assuming it isn’t being sold “as-is,” you will inevitably be asked to include a seller disclosure form. And even then, if the property is in as-is condition, providing whatever you may know about the property in a disclosure form will go a long way in accelerating the impending purchase process.

This document carries a lot of weight during the buying and selling process and, if not handled correctly, can cost you in the end.

If you’re buying a home, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of this form to alert you of any known concerns about the home. As your agent, it will be my job to track down this document for you on whatever property you might be interested in, in an effort to help us write a narrative for the home.

Sellers have one of three answers available to them for each question. The choices are “yes,” “no,” or “unknown.” The major thing I always tell clients when it comes to filling out a disclosure is this: If you genuinely don’t know, say you don’t know. Plain and simple.

Sellers, I have one piece of advice for you: Be. Honest. Always.

Disclose any reports, permits, or work done on your home. If you still have receipts from the new roof, hot water heater, basement inspection, etc. provide that information with your forms.

Answer correctly and confidently, but don’t hide important information. Sellers need to make it their responsibility to find out what issues may exist in the home and either remedy them on their own, or share those issues in the disclosure form. It will not only save you time in the end, headaches, and money in the end.