We have all heard the questions… “We’ve lived here for 10 years and never had water in the basement until that really bad storm last year. Do we have to disclose that?” “The fireplace can’t be used because it needs a new liner, but it was like that when we bought it. Do we have to disclose that?” “We had a fire several years ago, but as you can see…it’s like a brand new house. Do we have to disclose that?”
The list can go on and on, but you get the idea. Since we are the real estate professionals, sellers are constantly asking us what they should or need to disclose when it comes time to put their house on the market. I don’t believe they ask us these questions because they are trying to hide something. I believe they ask because they really don’t think there is an issue with not disclosing something that was a one time occurrence or something that was repaired.
Although some jurisdictions don’t even have disclosure laws and statues and the jurisdictions that do have very different criteria, I believe that common sense should take over at some point. When in doubt, the answer is “yes”, you should disclose (unless you are in a jurisdiction that does not require disclosure and the seller directs you not to disclose certain information).
I say you should disclose because it is the right thing to do. Buyers deserve to know what they are buying. In most cases they make an offer on a property prior to having a home inspection, so they are depending on the seller’s disclosure to give them an idea as to the condition of the property. If they knew the property had lots of little (and sometimes big) issues, they probably would have made a different offer.
Another reason to disclose…neighbors. Almost every neighborhood has a neighbor who thinks they know everything about every one. Can you imagine the buyers meeting the neighbor for the first time and the neighbor asks, “so you’re the people who bought the house that caught on fire last year”. How do you think the buyers will feel if they had no idea the house they just moved into had a major fire? More than likely they will feel deceived and begin to wonder what else wasn’t told to them. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Why not just tell buyers upfront and let them make an informed offer. In my opinion, when it comes to disclosure…if you have to ask the question, than you need to disclose it…period. Be prosperous!
Sign up today for my Free Email Course, 5 Things Every New Real Estate Agent Needs to Know.
Start building your real estate business on a solid foundation. Click here to get started.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are in the right place!
Sign up for my FREE email course, 5 Things Every New Real Estate Agent Needs to Know to start building your real estate business on a solid foundation. Click here to get started!
To learn what it takes to be a successful real estate agent or to get your real estate business back on track, check out Candy’s new book,
“The Reality of Real Estate – The Essential Guide to Planning, Managing and Growing Your Real Estate Business.”
Candy, “The Real-Life Realtor”, coaches, mentors and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success.
In 2016, Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in the United States.
She is a firm believer in managing expectations.
Her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience.
Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful!
Learn more about her training program at www.RLRETraining.com or send her an email at Candy@RLRETraining.com.
As an active Realtor licensed in three jurisdictions, I approach real estate training from a different perspective. With over 18 years in the real estate business, I teach agents what it’s really like to be a real estate agent.