Seller’s prescription to sleep at night – disclose, disclose

Thanks to Gene Wilkins, our office’s Advertising & Marketing Coordinator Extraordinaire, who shared this recent piece involving disclosure “confusion” from ABC News/Good Morning America.  I had to pass this article along about an unfortunate Arizona transaction involving a neighbor who “yells and screams”.   The buyer

contends that the neighbor is a nuisance and that he later learned that she had called the police with complaints hundreds of times and was arrested for disorderly conduct after pelting the home’s seller with potatoes just five days before closing.” 

Statutory transfer disclosures vary by state.  In California we use the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).  This is a very important document that the seller (in most cases) must complete, along with the participating Agent/Brokers in a timely fashion.  This document’s importance is not only in what is completed but also when it is completed.  In addition, anything that may affect the desirability or value of the property is considered a material fact and must be disclosed.

From the TDS:  Are you aware of any of the following:…Neighborhood noise problems or other nuisances?  A simple YES or NO answer is asked.  Except that if you answer YES, you are required to explain your answer.  They even offer plenty of room, if needed…

When I’m sitting across the table or desk from a seller, I tell them that I want to know the good, the bad & the ugly.  I’ve probably heard it before.  If you have to ask a question “do I need to disclose this?” or “is this really important?” – even to yourself, then disclose it.  In this situation, being overly protective is better than second-guessing an unknown.

By the way, the comments in the referenced article above are better than the article.