Katie McBride's Blog
What Is The Disclosure Statement?
Disclosure statements are used in many of life’s situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a seller’s disclosure are:
- Water in the basement
- Updates made to the home
- Known pests
- Paranormal activity
- Death on the property
- Past fires
- Nearby major construction projects
- Title 5 sewerage issues
Disclosures Serves As Protections
The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyer’s perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying.
On the seller’s side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.
How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure
Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted. The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasn’t properly presented on the statement.
How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?
The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.
What’s Disclosed To Buyers?
The disclosure doesn’t have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that you’re selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.
It’s easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the city’s zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family.
Problems that you’ll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions.
Remember that the disclosure doesn’t substitute the buyer’s right to a professional inspection of the property. It’s important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure they’re making a good investment.
If you intend to sell your home, it often pays to hire an expert home appraiser. With this professional at your disposal, you can learn about the true value of your house relative to the competition and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to work with a home appraiser, and these include:
1. You can gain insights into the housing market.
During a home appraisal, a property appraiser will inspect your residence from top to bottom. Then, this appraiser will offer a report that includes a valuation of your home.
A home appraisal report includes insights beyond the condition and age of your house. In fact, a home appraiser will look at the prices of similar houses in your area and evaluate your home in relation to comparable residences. By doing so, a home appraiser can provide a report that may help you prep to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. You can identify potential home problems.
Let's face it – no homebuyer wants to purchase a house with cracked siding or a leaky roof. Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you identify and resolve any potential problems early in the home selling process.
Typically, a home appraiser will look at a house's roof, its heating and cooling system and other interior and exterior features. If the appraiser discovers any home problems, these issues will be defined in an appraisal report.
Use a home appraisal report to understand assorted home problems – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to this report, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate various home issues.
3. You can establish a "competitive" price for your house.
As a home seller, your goal is to maximize the value of your residence. A home appraisal can help you do just that, as this assessment enables a home seller to define a "competitive" home price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
When it comes to selling a house, performing a housing market analysis may prove to be insufficient. However, after a home appraisal, a home seller can better understand how a residence ranks against the competition and price it appropriately.
Establishing a competitive price from day one is essential for a home seller. And with a home appraisal, a home seller can set a fair price for a residence, increasing the likelihood of a fast home sale.
Before you list your residence, you should consider the aforementioned reasons to work with a home appraiser. If you employ a home appraiser today, you can boost your chances of accelerating the home selling cycle and maximizing the value of your house.
Lastly, if you need help finding a home appraiser, you should consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer unbiased home appraiser recommendations and put you in touch with the best home appraisers in your area. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert advice throughout the home selling journey to ensure that you can get the best possible results.
You've decided to sell your home and listed your residence with a real estate agent. Now, you'll need to prepare for your first open house.
Ultimately, hosting an open house can be a stressful experience, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of getting your house ready for potential homebuyers.
Here are three tips to ensure that you can prep your residence for an open house.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
De-clutter your house as much as possible – you'll be happy you did. With clutter out of the way, homebuyers should have no trouble assessing every nook and cranny of your residence.
For those who possess a large assortment of clutter, it may be worthwhile to donate items to charity or host a garage sale. Also, you may be able to sell your excess items online.
Don't forget about family members and friends, either. If you have excess items, family members and friends may be willing to take them off your hands for free. By doing so, they'll be able to help you de-clutter your house and ensure that it looks great during an open house.
2. Clean As Much As Possible
There may be only a few days before your open house, but you should try to take advantage of any free time at your disposal.
Use your time wisely and clean up your home as much as you can. You can clean rugs and carpets, wipe down walls and floors and much more. If you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional cleaning company to help out as well.
For home sellers, it is paramount to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. And if you commit the necessary time and resources to clean your residence, you may be able to boost your home's chances of making a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.
3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is available to help you before, during and after an open house. As such, he or she is happy to provide tips so you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.
With an expert real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to prioritize home maintenance and repairs. This real estate professional will be able to explain the importance of an open house, along with the steps that you can take to transform your ordinary residence into an unforgettable one.
Plus, your real estate agent will help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your open house. He or she will be ready to answer your open house concerns and questions and ensure that you can set realistic expectations for the event.
Getting ready for an open house may seem like a time-consuming and exhausting process. Fortunately, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to plan accordingly and ensure that your open house is a resounding success.
SUPPLYThe National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 3.8-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market.
DEMANDEvery month NAR reports on the number of buyers out in the market looking for homes, which is also known as buyer traffic. As seen on the map below, buyer demand in March was strong or very strong in 45 out of 50 states nationwide, and Washington, DC. Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream homes (if they are even able to find a home they wish to purchase). Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.
HOME EQUITYMany homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their homes. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their homes. In reality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report tells us that 78.9% actually do! Many homeowners who are undervaluing the equity they have in their homes may feel trapped, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.
Bottom LineIf you are debating selling your home this year, let's meet up to evaluate the equity you have in your home, as well as the opportunities available in your market.
“Pending sales bounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract.”
So, what’s the problem?Buyers are searching for existing homes, but supply is not keeping up with their demand! Yun went on to explain,
“The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing cost. Sales will struggle to build on last year’s strong pace if inventory conditions don’t improve.” (emphasis added)