Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Disclosure

Whose obligation is it to disclose information about a property? 
In Oregon, sellers are obligated to disclose all of the facts that could impact the desirability of the property.  These disclosures do not have to be made until an offer has been negotiated and accepted by both parties.  Buyers may ask questions prior to making an offer, however, and it is always a good idea to answer those questions promptly and truthfully. 

What if I don't want to fill out the form?
If you do not provide the standard form, a Seller's Property Disclosure, the Buyer has the ability to cancel the transaction at any time up to the day of closing.  

But I thought the property was sold "As Is?"
Even if a property is being sold as is, with no expectation for the seller to make any repairs, the seller must truthfully and completely disclose any factors that could negatively impact the property.  You do not have to fix anything, but you need to tell the buyer everything you know about problems that you are aware of.

What if I don't know?
Well, you don't know what you don't know. There is no expectation that you will do an exhaustive search of your home before putting it on the market for sale. You are only expected to disclose what you are currently aware of.  The buyer will have an opportunity to hire a third-party inspector to check the crawlspace and attic, as well as other hidden spaces.

What repairs should I make before selling my home?
If you want to get top dollar for your property, you need to make any repairs that could potentially cause a problem for a conforming (FHA or VA) loan. Nearly all purchase contracts include an inspection clause, a buyer contingency that allows a buyer to back out if numerous defects are found or negotiate their repair. The trick is not to overspend on pre-sale repairs, especially if there are few houses on the market but many buyers willing to buy at almost any price. On the other hand, making such repairs may be the only way to sell your house, and waiting for the repairs to come up on inspection means that you will need to hire a licensed contractor to make repairs.

Kristen Paulson
Kristen Paulson