Property disclosure statements outline any flaws about which the seller and the seller’s real estate agent know that could affect the value of the home. In most areas of the country, the statements are required by law and must be provided to the buyer before closing.
When you receive a property disclosure statement, make sure to review it carefully. Note any questions or concerns you have, so you can discuss them with your inspector.
What is Included in a Property Disclosure Statement?
The property disclosure statement is a pre-determined, government-issued checklist. It covers a variety of potential issue, such as but not limited to, a faulty foundation, pest or mold infestations, windows that don’t close, issues with appliances, renovations completed with a permit, and environmental hazards.
In all areas of the country, sellers must disclose the existence of lead-based paint, asbestos or other issues that present clear health risks.
When do Buyers Receive the Property Disclosure Statement?
When the property disclosure statement must be presented to the buyer varies from state to state. However, it is typically presented prior to a home inspection. This allows any flaws noted on the statement to help point your inspector in the right direction and potentially uncover additional issues.
Are Flaws a Reason Not to Buy?
If the flaws noted in the property disclosure statement are severe, you may rethink your offer. No matter how pretty a house may look, sometimes it is just not worth the headache or expense to repair.
Alternatively, flaws noted in the property disclosure statement and those further uncovered by your inspector could give you bargaining power to secure the home for less. At a minimum, knowing the potential issues with a home will help you buy with your eyes wide open. This is why it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve closed on a home to fall in love with it completely.
Have additional questions? Talk to a loan officer today.