What you don’t know about disclosures

Most states have laws that require home sellers to disclose what they know about the operating and environmental condition of their homes as well as any situation or encumbrance that may affect the home’s value.

Disclosure Statement

If a shower pan leaked on the floors, and was repaired, that must be disclosed to the buyer, even if there are no outward signs that there was ever a problem. A disclosure form is called a Real Estate Disclosure Statement, Property Condition Disclosure, or Condition Report. They are required by the federal government to disclose the presence of lead paint, and many states require seller disclosures with regard to radon, gas believed to cause cancer.

“As Is”
Some states allow sellers to disclaim disclosures to make an “as is” sale, which means the seller has no intention of guaranteeing the property, but they must do so in writing. Even then they must disclose any material defects they know of. Such forms say something to the effect of “the owner of the real property makes no representations or warranties as
to the condition of the property and the purchaser will be receiving the property as is with all defects which may exist”. Even then, the seller must fill out a federal and/or state-mandated disclosure form.

While the forms may ask sellers to disclose whether or not they know there is lead paint or radon present, sellers aren’t usually required to do tests to determine the presence of toxic chemicals. But if the seller notes the existence of a problem, he or she may need to provide proof of tests and/or remediation for any problem that has been disclosed, including fire and water damage.

Sellers
If you are a seller, your real estate professional will provide you with the disclosure documents you’ll need to sell your home. It’s important to answer every question as truthfully as you can. Your real estate professional can not fill out the disclosure for you. If you’re in doubt about what to disclose, such as a repair, it’s best to err on the side of too much information than not enough. You don’t want to give the buyer any room for complaint after the closing. Sellers aren’t expected to know everything about theirhomes. Disclosure forms allow you to check the “I don’t know” box, but you should only do so if you truly don’t know the condition of a certain appliance or system. When you disclose a problem to the buyer that
has been fixed, be sure to provide a copy of receipts and invoices. The repairs should
correspond with the problem. Many agents provide a copy of the disclosure to interested buyers, so they can get an idea of the home’s condition before making an offer or having an inspection.

Buyers
If you are a buyer, read the seller’s disclosure carefully and use common sense when you see that something has been flagged. Leaks often produce mold, so ask the seller if the area with the leak has been tested for mold. If a seller-disclosed problem hasn’t been fixed, you can either ask the seller to fix it, or offer a little less for the home. Keep in mind that sellers aren’t expected to disclose what should be obvious or discernible to you as the buyer. Use the disclosure as a guide for what to look at throughout the home. If one shower pan has been replaced, chances are the shower pan in the second bath will need to be replaced soon.

The best way to feel confident about the condition of your home is not to rely on the seller’s disclosure. Have the home inspected by a licensed professional home inspector. For a few hundred dollars and a few hours of your time, you can follow along and learn as much as possible about the condition of your purchase.

Find out what a home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

How comparable market reports can vary

Whether you are buying or selling a home, your real estate professional can give you a snapshot of the local market known as the competitive or comparative market analysis or CMA.
A CMA helps the seller choose a listing price and the buyer to make an offer. CMAs are generated from multiple listing service data. They’re convenient reports that help sellers choose a listing price and buyers to make offers on a given home.

CMAs vary greatly depending on the search parameters that are input by the real estate
professional, by type of home (detached vs. attached), zip code or by street, number of bedrooms, baths and living areas, square footage, and numerous other search criteria.
They also tell you which homes have recently sold – six months, three months, one month, and which homes are currently on the market in the area and price range
you’re interested in.

As many fields of information as there are, some criteria simply can’t be listed in a CMA.
If the MLS has a field for “ocean views,” you’ll know. But if not, you’ll have to learn more in the remarks section that is filled in by the listing agent. There you
might find “great views.” But who is to say what makes a great view?

CMAs results may vary even between identical homes. One property may simply offer better drive-up appeal or is in better condition than the other, and that will be reflected in the sales price. Last, buyer and seller motivation can’t be quantified. You don’t know why a seller agreed to take less for their home or why a buyer paid more for another home. Family problems, corporate relocations and other reasons all play a role. What you can learn from the CMA is how long the home took to sell. If it was quick, the seller was highly motivated. If it didn’t, it was probably overpriced.

CMAs are Tools
For these reasons, CMAs are not home valuations. They are tools to use alongside your real estate professional’s knowledge of the market. They may have house-to-house knowledge of the market and be able to tell you why they think one home sold for more than another.

Find out what a home is worth fast & FREE – no cost, no obligation right here.

Home Inspections 101

So you are finally in contract and its time to do inspections.  One inspection that should not be waived is the home inspection.

IMG_2976home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.[1]

A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. Although not all states or municipalities in the U.S. regulate home inspectors, there are some professional associations for home inspectors that provide education, training, and networking opportunities. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes. – Wikipedia

During a home inspection, the home inspector will concentrate on the condition and structure of your home and point out observed safety concerns. The home inspection is a visual inspection of the house – home inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor can they inspect what they cannot see.

A professional home inspector should, at a minimum, inspect the following items:

  • IMG_2966Exterior Home Site
  • Building Foundation
  • Exterior Home Walls
  • Roof Coverings, Flashings & Gutters
  • Roof Support Structure
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Insulation Quality
  • Garage
  • Electrical
  • Visible Interior and Exterior Plumbing
  • Central Air and Heating System
  • Interior Condition of the Home

For more details regarding what a home inspector will inspect, please see the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NAHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.

Home Inspectors are generalists – they need to know the home’s many systems and components and how they work, both independently and together. In addition, they need to understand why and how the system(s) fail. Consumers should expect a written report to describe the actual condition of the home at the time of the inspection and to provide an indication of the need for major repairs.

Home Inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor do they have x-ray vision. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. The Home Inspector is primarily concerned with pointing out adverse conditions and/or safety-related concerns, rather than small or cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the buyers.

IMG_2961

A home inspection is not a code compliance inspection and a home inspector will not inspect inaccessible areas of the home.  For a detailed outline of what exactly what a NAHI inspector will inspect, please see the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NAHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.

In addition, the homebuyer should not expect the inspector’s report to serve as a guarantee that the home’s components will never fail or need repair at some point in the future. No house is perfect – they all need regular maintenance and repair.

Online values & what they mean for you

Plenty of sellers have visited online home valuation sites such as Zillow, Trulia, eAppraisal, and others only to be shocked at the value of their homes.

Most sellers are pleased when the values appear higher than they expected, but many online valuations come in far lower.

Online Valuations

Estimating a home’s market value is far from an exact science. What these sites attempt to do is provide greater transparency to homebuyers and sellers by making data derived from public records, more…public. They publish what you paid for your home and how much you pay in taxes. Many have satellite views so accurate they can spot your cat laying on the front porch. Continue Reading..

Short Sales & Foreclosures; What you should know

Distressed Property

Short sales and foreclosures are the result of homeowners in distress. A “short sale” simply means the homeowner’s lender has given permission to the homeowner to sell the home for less than the remaining balance of the loan.

To accomplish this, the seller must show the lender why they are in distress, such as job loss or illness, or that home values have fallen to the point that the seller doesn’t have enough equity in the home to break even or sell at a profit. If the seller can show means to continue paying the note, it’s unlikely the bank will grant a short sale, but if it appears the seller is about to default, the bank may agree to a short sale in order to minimize its losses.Continue Reading..

CMAS & Appraisals; What are they? What do they mean?

Market Value

Establishing a home’s market value is equally important to buyers, sellers, lenders and real estate professionals so that transactions can proceed quickly and efficiently. A real estate professional may prepare a comparative or comprehensive market analysis (CMA) for their sellers to help them choose a listing price. The CMA includes recently sold homes and homes for sale in the seller’s neighborhood that are most similar to the seller’s home in appearance, features, and general price range.Continue Reading..

2572 21st Street Sacramento CA 95818
SOLD@fgregoryestates.com
916.800.3726

Drop us a line

Yay! Message sent. Error! Please validate your fields.
Clear
© 2017 F. Gregory Estates CA BRE#01450581 Created by Smallsitez.net All rights reserved.