The purpose of requiring sellers to complete full-disclosure forms when listing their homes is to allow buyers to know the condition and quality of the homes they are viewing and possibly buying. As a buyer, you may wonder, though, if the disclosure forms really tell you everything. While they may in some cases, there is also a chance they will not in other cases. Here are several important things you should know about seller disclosure forms and how to use them when buying a house.
Sellers have a legal right to tell all
If you have never been involved in a real estate transaction, you might not understand what a full-disclosure form is, yet it is important to understand. This form is a legal document that requires all homeowners to state the condition, age, and quality of every part of the house when selling their home. A person is required by law to include known problems and accurate ages and conditions of all parts of the home. If a person lies on it, you can take legal action against them if you can prove that they lied on it.
There are red flags to look for
As a person buying a house, you should take this document seriously, and you should know what red flags to look for. One red flag is seeing vague information on it. For example, if the owner stated on the form that he or she does not know if the foundation leaks, you should question this, as the owner should know. Or, if the owner does not know the age of the appliances or HVAC system, you should view this as a red flag. Owners know these things in most situations, and this is why you should view these types of answers as red flags.
The other red flag to look for is if you see visible signs of problems while viewing the house, yet the disclosure form did not list them. If the owner omitted stating a known problem about something you can see, there might be more problems the owner failed to mention.
You should get the home inspected
Because you cannot know for sure if the owner is telling the truth, you should get the house inspected before buying it. When you do this, you will have a third-party telling you details about every important part of the house, and this can help you learn more about this particular home.
While it is possible that a seller might tell you every detail about the house on this form, there is also a chance the seller may have omitted things from it, intentionally or just because he or she did not know. If you have questions, talk to an agent or check out professionals like Roseville Homes.