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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seller Real Property Disclosures–Even little old ladies have been known to lie!

A seller never wants to be accused of hiding anything from buyers.  One step toward this goal is to disclose and document!

As a buyer you should never completely rely on statements made by sellers.  After all, seller property disclosures are only as good as the seller's memory, attention to detail and willingness to be open and honest.

Does one buy a used car based solely on the seller's word?  "Sure it runs fine....!"  A little old may have driven it to church on Sunday but even little old ladies have been known to misrepresent!

In Florida seller disclosure forms are not required.   Still, any buyer working with a Florida real estate agent will almost certainly ask the seller for a signed disclosure form.

It may be more of a way for a real estate agent to cover themselves more than anything else.  As a seller it can be your way of protecting yourself if something comes up later.

As a buyer requesting the disclosure form is the first step in the due diligence process. {I am not an attorney so this not legal advice.]  We all have heard the phrase caveat emptor - buyer beware.

What a buyer considers necessary is up to the individual.  Some of the common areas of concern and sources of information include..
  • seller property disclosure, 
  • home inspection, 
  • signed receipt for association documents for review, 
  • completed market analysis, 
  • new survey, 
  • appraisals by lender, 
  • review of association financial documents, 
  • speaking to neighbors, 
  • checking with the local police and/or sexual offender database, 
  • visiting nearby schools, 
  • checking for open building permits,
  • termite inspections, etc... 
Investigate, seek answers, ask questions and when you are comfortable with your results, go forward.

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