Q & A: Disclosure

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  1. Do I need an attorney when I buy a house?
  2. Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
  3. How do I find out the real scoop on the home I am interested in?
  4. What are the standard contingencies?
  5. What must I disclose during the sale of my home?
  6. What repairs should I make to my home prior to listing it on the market?

Do I need an attorney when I buy a house?

Each state has different legal requirements for real estate transactions, and many require the use of an attorney for the closing process. Speak with your real estate agent to learn more about requirements in your area and for attorney recommendations.

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Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?

No, a seller is not required to disclose the details or terms of an offer to other buyers.

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How do I find out the real scoop on the home I am interested in?

It is important that all buyers properly research any home they are interested in purchasing. This is just one of the many reason to have a real estate agent represent you during your home search, as they will help ensure you receive imperative information such as detailed property disclosures as well as a thorough inspection. Disclosures and inspections provide the most insight into a home’s history and condition, and therefore supply the buyer with the knowledge needed to make an educated offer.

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What are the standard contingencies?

The two most common contingencies are: financing -which makes the sale dependent on the buyer obtaining a loan, and inspection - which allows the buyer to hire a professional inspector to asses the property. Other common contingencies are: appraisal, the sale of the buyer’s home, the purchase of the seller’s new home, or special requests such as the repair or replacement of specific feature of the home.     

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What must I disclose during the sale of my home?

The disclosure of your home is a legally binding document revealing the history of your home. Each state has different laws and regulations on what must be disclosed by the seller of a home. Generally, you will be required to disclose any information that may affect the value or appeal the home. Your real estate agent can guide you through the process to ensure you have disclosed all necessary items.

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What repairs should I make to my home prior to listing it on the market?

Making repairs to your home before placing it on the market will help get top dollar for your listing. Items such as broken windows, holes in walls, scuffed paint, carpet stains, etc… can be especially advantageous to repair as buyers will focus on these small faults when viewing the home. Larger repairs, such as a new roof or new heating/air conditioning unit can also be advantageous, but should be carefully considered as they are a larger upfront investment. Speak with your listing agent to review what large repairs would be beneficial for your home.

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