As you know, in the world of real estate, there are many things that can cause delays in the transaction process. But, there is something that can be used on either side of the transaction to protect your client and ensure a smooth experience. Keep reading to learn why you (and your client) need to have a properly filled out Seller’s Disclosure!
What is the seller’s disclosure?
The seller’s disclosure is a form with questions about the house that is filled out by the sellers. This document cannot be filled out by an agent, so be sure to have your client fill it out. It asks questions about the condition of major items such as the roof, A/C, pest problems and other things that may not be readily observable like the water source, permits and easements.
For the seller it’s a way of listing anything that can affect the value of the house and on the flip side, it alerts the buyer to any issues before they commit to an offer or contract.
Did you know that seller’s disclosures are not mandatory in the state of Florida? But, at Dalton Wade, we require them because we believe in them. It’s a precaution that we like to take that saves time, energy and money for both parties in the long run.
Tips for the Listing Agent
If you’re working with the seller, advise them to be as honest as they can and to fill it out to the best to their knowledge. Remember, it’s not a contract, but a way to get to know the property better. Always err on the side over disclosing- it honestly can’t hurt. If someone really likes your client’s property and there are things wrong with it, they will figure out a way to work with you and the seller to get that property.
How to Complete It If They Don’t Live There
If your seller doesn’t live at the property or is flipping the property, this isn’t an acceptable excuse to keep them from filling out the disclosure. They most likely know things that are wrong with the property (if any). For example, if they’re renting it out- they are typically the ones that get calls when things go wrong. Again, just encourage them to fill it out as best they can so everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises when the inspection report comes back.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose?
Given the format of the seller’s disclosure, some clients may not know how to fill out certain sections and may ask you, the agent, for advice on what or how to disclose something. Here is how you can decide whether or not to disclose the issue- if you were on the buyer’s side and this certain issue was not disclosed- how would you feel about it? Would you be upset that you didn’t know about it? Or is it something that wasn’t that big of an issue? Use this as a compass to guide your advice.
Stay Up to Date
Lastly, make sure that if any new issues come to light, that they are updated on the disclosure. Try to keep the document as up to date as possible until closing.
Tips for the Buyer’s Agent
If you are working with a buyer, be sure they thoroughly read the seller’s disclosure and ask any questions. If you see any red flags, don’t be scared to ask questions. It truly doesn’t hurt and will protect your buyer. If there isn’t a seller’s disclosure in place, make sure you request one.
If the sellers won’t complete the disclosure, be skeptical. Ask why they won’t fill one out and be sure to share this information with the inspector.
Get a Good Inspector
If there is no seller’s disclosure, be sure you get a strong home inspector. And, if you’re not already going to inspections, you might want to start.
Talk to Your Broker
Different real estate brokerages require different forms and documents. If your company doesn’t require a seller’s disclosure- talk to your broker. Express your concerns and ask advice on whether or not you should request one.
At Dalton Wade we believe that today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource that can guide them through the complex world of real estate and that’s what we provide to our clients- exceptional service.
We also believe that real estate agents deserve to keep 100% of their commissions. Dalton Wade Agents work on 100% commission, pay a $79 monthly membership fee, pay $79 a closed transaction and are paid at closing! If you’d like to learn more about keeping 100% of your commissions, contact us today!