Friday, May 18, 2012

Sellers: 6 Disclosures That You Must Make- Conclusion

6. Infamous past
Even a home's notorious past must be disclosed. One New York case many years ago involved a home that reportedly was haunted and was the subject of many articles and tours. When that ghoulish past wasn't disclosed to the new buyer, the seller was successfully sued for nondisclosure, because that notoriety was likely to diminish its resale value.
The same holds true for a home's criminal past. Some states require disclosure of murders on the property, others do not. But since these horrific events tend to lower the value of a property, most real-estate agents choose to disclose them rather than risk legal action. In fact, the NAR even published a field guide for agents to deal with these "stigmatized" properties.
Other special disclosures might include a historical designation that restricts remodeling, or any other special zoning or local environmental concerns.
The bottom line is that if there's a question in your mind about whether or not you should disclose something, you probably should. Anything that the buyer would feel misled by is something that you should disclose.
However, disclosure does not mean sellers are obligated to fix a home's problems. Rather, the disclosed issues can merely become a point of negotiation between buyer and seller.

How can sellers protect themselves without blowing a sale?
To find out which disclosures your state requires, you can contact its department of real estate. Sellers get a home inspection before listing the home. It's not required, but it can help you figure out what to disclose.

If repairs must be done, get bids from a few contractors so you can negotiate more effectively. If a problem was fixed, disclose it and let people know what you have done to resolve it.
Preparing a binder for potential buyers of repairs, permits and warranties. It makes you look like a conscientious seller. And if you're not disclosing something on a form, remember to document it in writing, even it's just an email copied to a witness.
It might seem strange, but sometimes a heavy dose of disclosure can actually make a buyer more ready to act.They will say, 'This is an upfront person that I can work with'.
In a depressed housing market, no one wants to give up money from the purchase price, but full disclosure is one way to make sure you're not giving up a lot more of it later on.

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