Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Real Estate Disclosures- And You

 I haven't posted in a while, say the last two years. Anything happen? How's everyone been? 

If you haven't watched the news, there is a lot to catch up on. First, the real estate markets are nuts. Everywhere. Especially in North Texas, where the city came to the burbs, who then fled to the country. Thanks to HGTV and Chip and Joanna, we have a million new house flippers, and wall street money has started to pour in. What can go wrong?

If you have ever sold a property, especially residential, you should be familiar with a seller's disclosure (see the standard TREC form here). Seems simple enough, do you have hot tub? Ceiling fan? Great! Check the box. Don't know an answer? BE HONEST, but you can say you don't know. 

Where it gets tricky are the bad things- termites, past damage, that time your garbage disposal overflowed into the kitchen...big deal? Did you talk about those? 

You better. I've had more cases based upon seller's disclosures in the past 2 years than the prior ten. Coincidence? Maybe. But here's the point-OVERDISCLOSE. 

Its gotten so bad, you have third party companies advertising extra insurance, at the cost of hundred or thousands, to cover you for a screw up. Piece of advice- like a "home warranty" (or a used car warranty that I'm sure you've never received a call about...) or a flat-fee promise of legal protection when you shoot someone with your licensed or constitutional-carry weapon, for 99% of you out there, ITS A BAD DEAL. 

I work with a lot of great realtors. You know who you are. I work with a lot of realtors, who don't do what they need to do for the level they are compensated. This one is easy. OVERDISCLOSE. 

Water come in during a big storm? DISCLOSE IT. Have a dream about a termite? Get an inspection, and DISCLOSE IT.  If someone wants your house, they are going to buy it. If you had a massive issue and you cover it up with fresh paint, you're going to get sued, and its not going to be worth it. 

Take away: This is seems basic, but selling your house doesn't have to be that complicated. List it, hire a realtor or DIY, and fill out the paperwork. Don't rely on the "as is" box on your contract-  you can still get sued if you don't tell the truth on the disclosures.