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Real Estate Disclosures

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Dear Phyllis,

Reading your weekly question and answers I haven’t seen one on real estate disclosures. I am in the midst of selling a home in Glendale.  I acquired this property through foreclosure  and it has always been a rental,  I have never lived there. In my listing contract I noted: “Home sold as is, with no seller repairs or warranties”. This was also reiterated to the buyer in their counter offer.

Once we opened escrow my Realtor gave me a stack of real estate disclosures with a lot of questions, that he told me I must answer. I don’t know most of the answers and don’t understand how I can be expected to provide the answers when I am not that familiar with the home.

Bill T.

Dear Bill,

As a real estate agent, I too am often frustrated by the amount of paperwork, some of which seems very redundant. By law, you are required to complete these disclosures. I am not a real estate attorney, but in my experience as a Realtor it would seem prudent for you to note on the disclosures that you have never occupied the home. The purpose of the disclosures is for you to disclose any known material facts or defects of the home. If you have been to the home and noticed a leak, that would need to be disclosed. But if you don’t know an answer, state “unknown”.  You don’t need to play detective to learn the answers.

I suggest that if you have had recent work done that these invoices be disclosed. Provide them to your real estate agent who can prepare a “Receipt for Reports” with copies of the invoices.  If you have had recent estimates and haven’t done the work, this should also be disclosed in the same Receipt for Report format. If your previous tenants had any complaints such as rodent infestation, this should also  be disclosed.

Best of luck on your sale.

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