Meticulous Record Keeping = Meticulous Maintenance?

“Are you in possession of prior seller’s disclosure statement(s)? (If “Yes, please attach).”

–Minnesota Seller Disclosure; p. 1, line 44.

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

As a Buyer’s agent, I always like to see the previous Seller’s Disclosure — that is, the Disclosure that the current Seller received from the previous owner, when they were the Buyer (got all that??).

There are two reasons that that’s helpful:

One. It provides a more complete picture of the home’s condition, especially if the current owner has been in the house a relatively short time (less than 3-4 years).

When that’s the case, it’s possible that the current owner has never had a problem with such Minnesota bugaboos as a wet basement or ice dams ” but that those things have arisen in the past.**

Two. Evidence of the current Seller’s mindset.

Of course, to have kept the previous Seller’s Disclosure for a few years presupposes a certain, threshold level of organization if not meticulousness.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the same owners who are organized record keepers also tend to be meticulous about such things as home maintenance . . .

**If the new Buyer encounters a problem, post-closing, that predates the Seller’s ownership, the Seller is protected from liability if they provided the previous owner’s Disclosure, and the problem was disclosed there.

See also, “Home Sellers Who Provide the PREVIOUS Seller’s Disclosure”; and “Seller’s Seller’s Disclosure.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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