Memo To Home Sellers: Disclose, Disclose & Disclose!!! Share
July 1, 2012
Nobody likes surprises (unless you’re getting a diamond ring or a vacation) this is especially true for home buyers. As a La Jolla Realtor, the best advice I can tell my home sellers is to disclose, disclose and disclose. If information is not clearly black or white, but is somewhere in a gray zone: DISCLOSE!!! Most litigation involving real estate transactions happens when the seller failed to disclose an important fact, or a fact that they did not think was necessary to disclose. If a buyer finds out about an issue (such as: a past pipe leak, drainage issues, death on a property or unpermitted rooms) after the sale closes the seller is just asking for trouble.
The plain and simple truth is that if there is anything to discover about a home, it is best as a seller, to be controlling the information. If you do not and the buyer finds out some pertinent information before the close of escrow, you can bet the buyer will want to renegotiate the purchase price. Or worse, if after the house closes when the buyer moves in, and the neighbor across the street comes over and says, “did the sellers tell you that they had a flood in the bathroom a couple of years ago.” You might be surprised to find out how often this happens.
In all real estate transactions surprises do come up, not everything can be avoided, but limiting surprise through full disclosure can definitely help. Remember, if a buyer knows about an issue in the disclosures UP FRONT, surprises are easier to handle. It is when buyers find out information after the fact that they then began to question everything else they heard from the sellers. This is generally the point when a transaction becomes rocky and difficult.
The lesson to all home sellers is to disclose, disclose and disclose. As a seller, if you know your roof leaks, get a roof bid! If there was a water leak years ago, disclose it! Try to repair defects before you list your home. Get a pest control report so you know if there is dry rot in your wooden deck. Those are just a few of the problems I have seen pop up over the years! The better prepared you are as home seller, the happier the buyer will be, and the higher your home will sell for.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home or want to know about home values in your neighborhood home give me a call 619-980-2738.