On the surface, disclosure might seem very basic. A potential buyer is entitled to know when the house was originally built, what materials the roof is made out of and how many square feet the house and property are. Though these are all important facts to know regarding your purchase of a home, there is much more information that must be disclosed.
A buyer is entitled to seller disclosures, including material facts, deaths on the property and recent repairs. In addition, there are Property Disclosure Statements required by law in most states. This is a statement the seller must complete. In California, the Property Disclosure Statement is required by Civil Code and is called a Transfer Disclosure Statement.
A home buyer is also entitled to paperwork called he HUD-1. This is a settlement statement showing line item charges. The HUD-1 was created in an effort to simplify the disclosure of closing costs and it does so line by line so that the parties to the transaction are aware of all charges.
There should be a disclosure regarding any homeowner’ association before your client makes the purchase. Aside from the disclosure, help your client ask the right questions, such as what the association’s policies are and how stable they are financially.
There is also a Preliminary Title Report or Title Commitment, which should contain any information regarding easements. In the event that anyone plans to put a pool in the back yard, it is important that you find out about any easements or rights of way, as an easement can stop the plans to build the pool, a fence, and various other additions.
In addition, it is important that any covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) be disclosed. CC&Rs are a matter of public record and affect the way the property can be used. It is important that these be researched and that you are aware of the ramifications regarding the house/property you are planning to purchase.
Another group of disclosures involve protecting you from various substances and hazards. There is a lead-based paint disclosure, which gives the buyer 10 days to inspect for lead-based paint unless both parties agree to waive this right. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978; however, even though a property was built after 1978 does not mean that it is lead-free.
Two other disclosures that are important are the radon gas test and toxic mold test. Radon gas has been linked to deaths from cancer and can contaminate the property’s water sources. There are websites that describe radon testing in depth and explain how and why the test should be conducted. Toxic mold is another very important matter. Toxic mold is insidious – it is often not seen and there is not always an odor to it. Testing is usually simple and reasonably inexpensive. It is extremely important that these tests be performed and disclosed, since some issues with mold can be excluded from your homeowner’s insurance policy, and even worse, pre-existing mold can keep you from getting homeowner’s insurance in many cases.
Three more items that should be disclosed are termite inspections, powder post beetle inspections and fumigation tent facts. Termite inspections are a normal part of the process of buying a home. Power post beetles are not as well known. These are a specific type of beetle that eats wood. It is important to get the information about termite and post beetle inspections and how to inspect for damage before the deal is finalized.
The last item is extremely important. Natural Hazard reports disclose various conditions that could affect the property, such as whether the property is subject to shifting sands, fires, flooding or lies on a fault line. It is important to be aware of all this information before you finalize the purchase.
Whether you are closing a conventional sale or a short sale, make sure you have the reports and information you need to make a good decision that will put money in your pocket rather than cost you expenses that can turn a good moneymaking deal into an unnecessary loss.
P.S. If you haven’t signed up for my Free Short Sale Course yet, then you are really missing out, go here: http://www.freeshortsalecourse.com/
Jeff Kaller, visionary, educator and real estate developer has the pioneered the most preeminent pre-foreclosure system in United States. Specializing in a well kept industry niche, Jeff teaches the real estate secrets of purchasing pre-foreclosure properties while executing real estate theory to actual practice. A record of $7 million dollars in properties and a dedicated following of over 9,000 students in less than four years stands testament to his winning strategies.