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Ask a REALTOR® – What’s a Seller’s Disclosure?

Chances are if you’ve bought or sold a home, you’ve seen a “Seller’s Disclosure.” Legally, the entity selling the home has to detail information about the property that could affect the buyer’s decision to buy the property. This can take the form of the physical aspects or issues of the property as well as items that could pertain to the enjoyment of the property by the buyer.

Physical Property Disclosures

Let’s take a look at the physical aspects first. These are any known issues or problems that affects the piece of property, the house, outbuildings, etc. Things that need to be disclosed include:

  • Major Structural Repairs
  • Flood Issues
  • Fire/Smoke
  • Roof Repairs
  • Mold or other Water Damage

Non-Property Specific Disclosures

As for non-property specific items:

  • Pest Problems
  • Property Boundary Issues
  • Major Construction
  • Military/Airport noise
  • HOA Related Assessments or Legal Issues
  • Strange Smells
  • Criminal Deaths

All of these disclosures need to be made to the best of the seller’s knowledge. Knowing about and not disclosing items can lead to legal problems, especially if something significant is found after the sale closes. Additionally, if a home inspection uncovers something that the seller obviously would know about that wasn’t disclosed, that could be an indication that the seller isn’t trustworthy.

In addition to doing a home inspection, savvy buyers can also request a CLUE report on the property. CLUE, or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, is a report that contains a seven-year snapshot of insurance claims. It shows the date and type of loss as well as the payout amount of the claim. Any claims made on the property will show up here.

REALTORS® are duty-bound to report and disclose any known issues about a property as well. For example, if an agent happens to be speaking to a contractor who worked on the house that’s for sale and the contractor spoke about an issue with the home that wasn’t disclosed to the agent by the homeowner, the agent will need to file an amended disclosure, or they risk being fined or losing their real estate license.

Final Thoughts

When the day to sell your home comes, honesty is the best policy. Be sure to consult with your REALTOR® regarding your home and things that you should disclose as laws and requirements do differ from state to state.

If you’re looking to sell your home in Boise, be sure to contact the Mike Brown Group and let our expert team of REALTORS® help you get the best deal possible for your property.

Ask a REALTOR® is a bi-weekly feature on The Mike Brown Group website blog.


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