Today we’ll be talking about some things you may not know about the seller’s disclosure notice. First of all, it allows the seller to disclose what they know about the property. If the buyer has a problem later, the seller has already had the opportunity to say what they know about the property, both good and bad. This protects the seller and prevents the buyer from saying they withheld information.
The disclosure also allows buyers to have full knowledge of any issues before they make a purchase. This way, they won’t be taken off guard if problems do arise later on. Most people are upset by surprises they didn’t see on the disclosure, and sometimes, people end up in the courtroom because of it. This is why it’s incredibly important for sellers to fill out the disclosure correctly, and buyers shouldn’t sign it until this is the case.
As an agent, you shouldn’t accept disclosures that have been filled out haphazardly. Ask the seller to go back and fill out the form completely, and then allow the buyer to sign it. It’s good for both buyers and sellers, so let your seller know where they need to go back and change things. As a listing agent, you also need to know what’s on the disclosure so you’re aware of issues as well.
Keep in mind, though, that buyers are not required to sign a disclosure. From my perspective as a broker, though, you should keep a record if a buyer refuses to sign. Notate in your file that you sent it to them and they refused to sign it. This is also why you don’t see it attached to the contract—it’s just a disclosure. Still, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have these forms and get them signed.
If you have any questions or would like more information about how to protect yourself and your clients with disclosures, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.