Telling Buyers What They Know
About Their Home’s Condition
“Treat people the way you’d like them to treat you.”
–The Golden Rule
“Home Sellers should tell prospective Buyers anything that they would want to know if they were buying the home.”
–The Golden Rule, real estate version
Given that 90%-plus of all residential real estate litigation is related to the home’s condition — specifically, problems that the Seller didn’t disclose — you’d guess, correctly, that the Seller’s Disclosure is a pretty important document (note: Minnesota and most other states require this).
So, how should Sellers fill it out?
In a sentence, by telling Buyers what they know.
And if they’re in doubt, they should err in favor of disclosing something.
No Buyer has ever sued a Seller for a problem that they were told about.
Of course, the better course is usually to fix the problem — and then disclose that.
*The two-fold test for a Buyer recovering from the Seller is proving that: 1) the problem(s) existed at the time the home was sold; and 2) the Seller either knew about the problem(s) — or should have.