Question Details

Carrie Crowe…, Real Estate Pro in Southaven, MS

Should sellers have disclosed?

Asked by Carrie Crowell, Southaven, MS Thu Oct 4, 2007

I have a friend who is selling his home. One of the bathrooms has some cracked tiles. They are plainly visible, not covered by rugs etc. Another agent showed the home, her clients made an offer, on the home. During the course of the conversation she mentioned the tiles and that they were not on the disclosure. Please discuss if they tiles should be disclosed, and elaborate on your view.

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While most areas call for the seller to disclose any/all known material facts, I have a difficult time believing that an omission of a couple of plainly visible cracked tiles is cause for much concern. Many areas consider such things cosmetic. I highly doubt that minor cracked tiles would be ruled by a legal authority to be a material fact that would have affected the buyer's decision, had they been aware of it, to purchase the property. As such, your friend should simply say "my bad" and correct the disclosure to reflect the cracked tile. Further, in my area, the disclosure does not have to be provided until after the contract has been fully executed. As such, in Arizona, there would not be a potential disclosure issue if the change was made and resubmitted to the buyer within 5 days of contract acceptance.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
Thanks you for your responses. It is great to hear what you have to say. I would have disclosed them or recommended they be disclosed also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 6, 2007
HI Carrie:

I agree with the other answers. As Ute stated, "In California, the listing and selling agent are required to also conduct a visual inspection and disclose what they have found in the Transfer Disclosure Statement. As an agent, I would have noted the cracked tiles." I would have done the same if I had seen them. At our MC of KW we say, "Long disclosure, short escrow"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
Hi Carrie. While I think it would have been better if the tiles had been included in the disclosures, I agree with Paul. I don't consider this a material fact either and sometimes sellers are just so used to a condition that they forget about it. I usually encourage my sellers to include everything they can think of and let the buyer decide whether it's a material fact. If a seller disclosed minor problems and missed one it's more likely that they would not be charged with intentional omission since they obviously mentioned other minor items. In California, the listing and selling agent are required to also conduct a visual inspection and disclose what they have found in the Transfer Disclosure Statement. As an agent, I would have noted the cracked tiles.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
MVP'08
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Every state disclosure is different. Ct. asks if there are any plumbing issues. Cracked tiles clearly would not apply. Given they were obvious, I think it is up to the buyer and through the inspection process to understand the minor issues of the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
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