March 1, 2016 by Jed Bratt
Some of the most important parts of purchasing real estate as a home buyer are the real estate disclosures!
Oh, believe me— I get it. Real estate disclosures can be a super DRY subject I know, [**yawn**] but if not taken seriously, you may find yourself in a very WET situation (think not paying attention to the fact that the seller mentioned the presence of “Poly-B” plumbing).
Note: We are NOT attorneys and we recommend you consult with an attorney prior to taking any action based on information provided herein.
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As a buyer, during your due diligence period after getting your offer accepted, you will receive disclosures from the seller on just about everything— market conditions disclosures, property tax disclosures, loan disclosures, seller disclosures, local area disclosures, natural hazard disclosures— I could on for a while.
Look, these documents are very important in that they inform you of items pertaining to the property, the neighborhood, the market, and the loan— some that you may already know, as well as many you probably don’t know.
Your agent should be reviewing these documents as well to ensure they don’t catch anything out of the ordinary or of concern, but it’s imperative that you as the buyer completely review and understand them in their entirety.
Some of them will be as simple as disclosing to you the unpredictability of the real estate market, while others will disclose everything that the seller knows about the property.
For example, here are a few of the big ones to be aware of:
- Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS)— Completed by seller regarding the condition of the property and any known issues/conditions
- Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ)— Seller-completed questionnaire, similar to TDS, but even more in-depth
- Natural Hazard Disclosures (NHD)— Provided by a trusted 3rd party, provides factual information regarding possible natural hazards
Not specifically “disclosures” but also part of the documents typically provided during the buyer’s investigation period are HOA (Home Owners Association) and CC&R (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) documents— if located within an HOA community. It is imperative that the buyer review and understand these as well, as they lay out information regarding the rules and regulations of the community, the current and projected financial health including reserves, and the restrictions that apply to property owners and residents within the development.
It’s easy to become lazy and just sign everything, but we highly advise that you completely review and ensure you understand every piece of paperwork you put your signature on.
Don’t get overwhelmed with the paperwork! It’s all part of the process and believe me— it’s well worth it!