Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

“Liar Liar Pants on Fire” when a Florida couple were arrested for not only failing to disclose a sink hole when selling their home- they also fired an insurance claim and lept the money.  And while Liar Liarthis is bad example of sellers trying to hide major defects in their home or condo- most homeowners do a good job completing the disclosure forms.  In Ohio most sellers must fill out a “Residential Property Disclosure Form” when selling their house or condo.

Legally the form requires owners to disclose “material matters” which have occurred within the last 5 years (or before -if they haven’t been fixed) and most sellers are diligent about providing detailed information.  However some sellers seem to have “selective amnesia” and omit or minimize problems-perhaps hoping the buyer’s inspection misses the issue(s).  Unfortunately non disclosure of ongoing problems, like leaky basements, leaking roofs, cracked chimneys, are usually discovered and the potential buyer exits the deal without giving sellers a chance make repairs. HomeSearch

In short, sellers need to follow the “Golden Rule” and disclose and should consider disclosing major items, that may be older than 5 years and may potentially scare buyers away.  In my experience most buyers who have detailed information about problems listed usually don’t panic when the home inspector points out a…repair on foundation wall, burn marks on wood where seller had disclosed an old fire in the kitchen and so on.

“Liar Liar Pants on Fire” why don’t some sellers disclose issues?

Honestly, some people fix and forget problems- they don’t disclose because they just don’t remember.  Others count the days and minutes and if the defect was exactly 5 years and 1 minute ago- so legally they don’t have to disclose.  Finally the ones that end up with most of the problems decide to not disclose problems and then wonder why buyers walk away after bad inspections.

Today’s real estate contracts don’t require the buyer to provide a copy of the home inspection report before asking for a release from the purchase contract -so sellers can remain in the dark about issues with their property.  One way to get ahead of inspection/disclosure issues is for sellers to order and pay for a “pre-listing” inspection.  Many more sellers are opting into having an inspection, then deciding on what to fix and providing a copy of the inspection report, property disclosure and receipts for the fixed items to potential buyers.

Reports on “pre-inspected” properties may provide some peace of mind to potential buyers.

Finally with rainy weather and iffy soil conditions around greater Cincinnati wet basements can happen.  Nothing is more interesting than when the new home owner is talking to a neighbor about problems with a wet basement and finding out the former owner had the same problem-but never disclosed the information.  So even if you fooled the home inspector, sellers never know what well informed neighbors will say-so play it safe and tell the truth when filling out the “Residential Property Disclosure Form”.

Time to buy or sell –Call/Txt