Disclosures are an important part of the home purchase agreement. They protect home buyers, to prevent them from knowingly purchasing a home that has expensive or irreparable problems.
Disclosures may create problems for home sellers, if there are many issues with their home when it's listed for sale. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about selling your home, you should know what the disclosures are and how disclosures are handled in your state. Educating yourself about the home purchase agreement and working with a real estate professional can help.
Disclosures Are Required By Law
Disclosures are a requirement of nearly all real estate transactions, although the disclosure process can vary from one state to another. Disclosures are typically written into the home buying contract, and must be acknowledged by the home buyer before the home purchase can proceed. This helps ensure the buyer is informed about structural and maintenance problems inside the home they're thinking about purchasing.
What Information Must Sellers Disclose?
The information that must be disclosed varies from one state to another. Some states require home buyers to disclose deaths on the property, or even hauntings. Typically, disclosures include major problems like foundation issues, broken appliances, roof leaks and broken fixtures.
How Are Disclosures Conveyed to the Buyer?
The home purchase agreement has a space for disclosures. The disclosures are acknowledged during the negotiation process, so that the buyer can adjust their offer accordingly. Homes that have serious maintenance problems often get lower offers compared to homes that do not.
What Happens if the Seller Fails to Disclose Information to the Buyer?
If a seller fails to disclose information to the buyer, this could result in a lawsuit (if the buyer finds out after purchasing the home) or a failed home sale (if the buyer finds out before completing the home buying process). Either way, disclosures can create big problems for the seller, if they fail to disclose important information during the contract negotiation.
Uncomfortable With Your Disclosures? Make Repairs Before Listing Your Home
Homeowners who don't want to disclose their home's problems in the home sale must make repairs before listing their home. For homeowners who can afford it, making repairs is often better. Home buyers typically do not want to make repairs after moving in, and will pay much more for turn-key properties.
Sellers who want to ensure they make the most from the sale of their home should focus on high ROI improvements (like kitchen remodeling), and improvements to major home systems (like the roof). For a homeowner on a budget, picking and choosing the right improvements is important. A good real estate agent can help the home buyer decide which home improvements will pay off and which improvements can be left to the buyer.
Have Questions? Contact a Real Estate Professional
It's important to get the disclosures right, because failure to do so could cause the Sitka AK home sale to fail. If you're a home seller who has questions about disclosures, work with a real estate professional. Your real estate professional can answer your questions to help you understand the disclosure process for your state. Your real estate professional can also tell you more about what needs to be disclosed on your home purchase agreement.