RISMEDIA, Oct. 9, 2008-When in doubt with respect to real estate for sale, disclose. Is the home repaired from prior water damage? Has there ever been a termite infestation? No matter what the issue, disclose it! Not doing so when you should have can have serious consequences.
Consider that, in the state of Nevada, the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure clearly indicates that a seller could be liable up to triple damages for non-disclosure of a current or previous condition they knew existed. Serious consequences indeed.
“Sellers would be wise to discuss everything that has happened with the home with their Realtor® and heed their guidance to help complete the disclosure process properly,” says Robert Jenson, CEO of luxury Las Vegas realty The Jenson Group at RE/MAX CENTRAL, who offers this list of real estate disclosure must know’s:
After your offer is accepted, set up a home inspection. It’s not uncommon to find problems, including roof deficiencies, leaky plumbing and electrical concerns. Hire a reputable inspector, and negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector’s report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a “walk through” before finalizing the paperwork to assure all issues are resolved to your satisfaction. Also be sure the seller provides you with a home protection plan as part of the purchase, which may save you money in the short and long-term future.
Run a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E) report
During the due diligence period buyers should contact their insurance representative and give them the property address. They will run a C.L.U.E. report, which will uncover any previous issues or claims on the property. The insurance representative can also then give the buyer an accurate insurance quote. Don’t get hung out to dry by waiting until the close of escrow to find out that the insurance premium might be 3x the normal rate!
Another question buyers should ask their insurance representative is if the home is potentially located in a flood plain, which can also affect the insurance premium. This knowledge might also affect the buyer’s decision as to whether or not to purchase what could be an “at risk” property at all. Knowledge is power.
Depending on where you live, a soils test might be necessary, or it may be prudent to procure a copy of the builder’s original soils report, which gives understanding of earth conditions affecting a building. Also called “geotechnical soils report,” this is required in areas with expansive or low strength soils, for homes on steep slopes, locations with high ground water or those within FEMA floodplains. Know what your home sits on and if the home is built accordingly – it’ll be foundation of much that you own.
Homes that have been remodeled or have additions are more susceptible to potential code violations, which can pose a variety of safety hazards and put you at risk of legal liabilities. A good home inspector will catch such violations, and will help ensure your home is not a safety risk for those who enter.
Is the square footage in the county tax record different than the advertised square footage? If so, find out why. It is possible the tax record doesn’t include the casita, for example. It is also possible that any room addition is not properly permitted. If this is the case, remember that there could be potential safety issues if the addition has not been through the required county building inspections. Moreover, appraisers cannot include the non-permitted addition in the assessment of the home’s worth.
Black Light the Carpet to Uncover Hidden Issues
Use a black light in the evening to asses the home’s carpet to uncover hidden pet waste and other questionable stains, including blood and other body fluids.
For more information, visit www.thejensongroup.com.