Seller Disclosures & Inspection Reports
Before making an offer on a home, read the seller’s disclosures and review each of the home inspection reports provided. These documents give you an inside view into the home and any potential issues or repairs it may have. Often, these are things you cannot see during a showing and the only way to discover these possible pitfalls is by doing your research.
The seller’s disclosures allow prospective buyers to learn about the property based on the current owner’s experience living in the home. Disclosures are “the seller’s chance to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the property.” Divulged information can include things like improvements, upgrades, and renovations completed by the seller (or previous owner) as well as any of the work that was performed without a permit. These disclosures may note minor as well as major issues, from a cracked kitchen floor tile to roof leaks, etc.
Standard disclosures include the following as applicable:
- If pets have lived in the home
- Termite problems
- Neighborhood nuisances
- Any history of property line disputes
- Defects or malfunctions with major systems or appliances
Disclosure documents may also reveal if the sellers are involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, if there are any liens on the property, or if there is any significant development occurring in the area that may impact the home’s value.
To learn more about disclosures and the importance of these documents for both buyers and sellers, click here. Please note this is not an all-inclusive list of just how important disclosures are for all parties of a real estate transaction. For more information, contact Dawn.
Another valuable source of information about a home are the inspection reports. Conducted by independent third party vendors, the inspections entail a thorough examination of the property and can reveal issues of which the sellers may not be aware. We have information on inspections on our website.
Typically, sellers will do inspections prior to placing their home on the market. If they don’t, this could be construed as a red flag to prospective buyers. Inspection reports are normally included for buyers to review prior to making an offer. The typical inspections conducted are property, termite, roof, and chimney. Other inspections, such as for a swimming pool or septic system, may also be done, if applicable.
If, after reviewing the disclosures and inspection reports, you are still interested in submitting an offer, Dawn will work closely with you, quickly pulling together a competitive proposal that will be sent to the seller’s agent. In today’s market, this process moves quickly. As such, be prepared to review disclosures and inspection reports immediately! Consult with Dawn regarding any questions and clarifications so she can assist you in submitting an offer in a timely manner.
If you’re interested in buying a condo or townhome, you will also want to examine the Home Owner’s Association (HOA) document packet provided prior to making an offer. Click here to find out more about the importance of reviewing these documents.