When selling your home, it’s essential that you are upfront about any serious issues that are present on the property’s grounds in order to allow any potential buyers to make an informed decision. To help you get all of your ducks in a row while jumping through any legal hoops, let’s go over how to prepare a seller’s disclosure in Riverside.
What Is a Seller’s Disclosure?
First and foremost, we need to gain a firm understanding of what a seller’s disclosure is and what purpose it serves.
A seller’s disclosure is a document containing a description of the condition of the property. This is not related to any appraisals, inspections, or home warranties, but simply informs any interested buyers of what’s going on with the home and if they can expect any sort of difficulties or necessary repairs in the near future. Additionally, this is the opportunity for sellers to inform buyers of any critical deficiencies that will need immediate attention.
In some cases, there are legal requirements that must be met in this document. For instance, some states mandate the disclosure of the presence of mold within a home whereas other states do not.
If you have any questions about the thoroughness of your seller’s disclosure, it is recommended that you contact a local real estate agent to ensure you are not failing in your disclosure responsibilities. By providing a complete seller’s disclosure you are relieving yourself of liability and allowing buyers to make a knowledgeable determination on their chosen property.
Before moving forward, let’s get a better idea of some of the specifics that will be addressed on your seller’s disclosure.
Some municipalities may have laws requiring you to provide a history of any major repairs, especially if it is an ongoing complication that will need regular maintenance. Areas that are regularly explored on a seller’s disclosure include water damage, presence or evidence of past termite infestation, other animal or pest infestations, the presence of asbestos, lead paint, or the possibility of danger from radon gas. You will also need to report any damage or problems with existing home infrastructure, including the plumbing and electrical systems and any cracks in the foundation.
Some of these disclosures will be covered by a simple yes or no answer along with an area allowing you to elaborate with more exact information.
Besides going over the pure structural and conditional facets of your property, your seller’s disclosure is also the time to inform buyers if your property is governed by homeowners or condominium associations.
Providing buyers with all of the information related to said association is an important part of selling your home. The buyer needs to know about any fees, payment schedules, bylaws, and neighborhood standards.
If you have also found yourself in financial straits and failed to pay your mortgage lender, it’s likely that the lender has put a lien on your property. This means you cannot sell the property without the lender first agreeing to the sale. If there is a lien on the property, it must be included in the disclosure.
Recruit Some Assistance
If this all seems a bit overwhelming, we suggest finding a qualified and experienced real estate agent to walk you through the process.
An agent is going to do everything they can to make your home sale a success, and providing any buyers with a thorough and informative disclosure document can be a big part of that.
In the end, you’re much better off paying the small bit of commission to an agent rather than finding yourself in legal hot water by failing to disclose something due to your own mistake.