Home Buying in Cody>Question Details

Ronald Kent, Home Buyer in Byron, WY

WHAT IS A SELLER DISCLOSURE. ARE YOU MORE INFORMED/PROTECTED THAN WITHOUT ONE.?

Asked by Ronald Kent, Byron, WY Tue Dec 14, 2010

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Disclosure, at least here in Illinois, while a legal requirement, is more of a C.Y.A. document than anything else. There's nothing preventing an unscrupulous seller from lying on the form. (No, I don't get any water in the basement)... but one they've signed that document... if you move in and three months later have 3 feet of standing water in the basement, and when dragging your damaged carpet to the curb your neighbours say:

"Oh, yeah... they used to do this every Spring", you now have leverage to come after them for non-disclosure of a material defect.

btw.... Morrighu's statement: "DO NOT let your realtor, lender, or anyone else involved in the transaction recommend an inspector to you. If they offer, take down the names so you can be sure *not* to call them by accident. " is totally bogus.

If you "trust" your Realtor, you have no reason to mistrust their recommendation of an inspector. We want you to have as good a home as possible, as one day, you'll likely call me and ask me to help you sell it. If there's a cracked foundation, or bad wiring... I want to know it, maybe as much as you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
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Thank you for your "candid" responses. It would seem that disclosure is, in Wy, a voluntary process, which is, for the most part, meaningless. Inspections are, for the most part, meaningless as well. Most buyers are savy enough to know/see obvious problems, but most major problems the buyer and /or inspector might miss can only become known from living in the house. The old buyer beware edict applies well to home purchase. I am tempted to develop my own disclosure form, with a yes or no choice, for a seller to answer. How many sellers/RE agents would approve of this approach? Very few, I suspect. Thanks again, Ron.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
It depends on the property and what is being disclosed. Some things are required to be disclosed. For example, foundation problems, lead paint, etc. However, in my case my home was built in 2006 so I don't have foundation problems (knock on wood) or lead paint, so I wouldn't need to disclose any of that.

Other things are disclosed so that they don't become bargaining chips later. For example, due to some straight line winds I've lost a few tabs off my shingles on my roof. The roof doesn't leak. There's nothing "wrong" but I might disclose that so that the buyer cannot try to demand a new roof during a sale.

Your best bet is to get a good home inspector to do a thorough inspection and either purchase a home warranty or have the seller do so.

DO NOT let your realtor, lender, or anyone else involved in the transaction recommend an inspector to you. If they offer, take down the names so you can be sure *not* to call them by accident.

Use ASHI and the BBB to find someone.
Web Reference: http://www.ashi.org/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
Hi Ronald;
It's information about the home that the owner would like to share with you.
You will be more informed and more protected when you hire an insepctor working for you to tell you everything there is to know about the property.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
If you are talking about a property disclosure I am under the belief that it is a required item in most states. Sure, you can buy a home without one but there is a huge loophole a buyer can use to get out of the contract if there is not one. Each state might be different to some degree so I am going to tell you about them in NC. Each property will have a property disclosure form that the listing agent will get to the buyers agent, usually prior to them making an offer or soon after one. The NC purchase agreements state that the buyers have seen this document or that they have not. Until they get it they can walk away at anytime from the contract up until closing occurs. Since this means they could back out 1 hr before closing the agents make sure this document is passed along and signed early in the offer stage.

In NC the property disclosure form asks 21 questions about the house and area around it. Things like about the roof, pipes, electric and streets. The seller can answer yes, no or no representation. The last means they are not saying yes or no and you as the buyer can figure it out yourself. Most sellers choose No Representation here in my market area. This document really doesn't tell you much at all if they choose No Representation and sellers choose it to avoid saying no to a question which could open them to a law suit in the future if it is believed to have been a lie. You can sue anyone for anything you know, the question is will you win. I don't find a lot of value in the document, but the NC law says you need it so we get it filled out and signed by all parties to a contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
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