Whether you are buying a home or selling a home, don’t let 3rd parties put you at risk. As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are buying. As a seller, you don’t want the liability that a lack of disclosure and lack of discovery can create.
Sellers should know that the Sellers Disclosure (SD) was created to reduce liability for the real estate agent. Real estate attorneys insist that agents don’t even help the seller complete the Sellers Disclosure. Sellers, it is all on you. Buyer, the SD can fool you.
First of all, home sellers often forget about significant damage and the repairs that have been made on their home over the years. Second, much work that requires municipal permits is often not permitted. In addition, the same Sellers Disclosure is offered whether or not a home is located in a municipality/city. Therefore, when completing the SD, any modifications to the structure or systems can be entirely substandard and the home buyer is led to believe that no work was performed without a permit.
Many sellers simply don’t realize that there are problems with their homes. If there is no Home Inspection performed, buyers are led to believe that the home is in the condition stated in the Sellers Disclosure.
As a home seller, even if the buyer does choose to have the home inspected, you are still at risk. If the home buyer’s real estate agent presents a list of ‘preferred inspectors’ to the buyer and the buyer chooses an inspector who performs ‘real estate agent friendly’ inspections, the buyer is left with less information than needed to make an informed decision.
Make no mistake, if a home buyer is given inaccurate and incomplete information about the condition of the house, the seller risks costly litigation.