Property Disclosure Form: Why you need it

You’ve repainted the walls and spruced up the shingles, cleaned out the yard and given the bathroom a hearty scrub. Your house looks “as good as new”—but neither your potential buyers nor the courts of the land will simply take your word for it.

Everyone, who is selling property, whether it is a house or an office unit, is required by law to submit a real estate disclosure form. Basically, it’s a detailed description of the property and its legal status. It’s one of those technical and complicated requirements that can drive homeowners batty—but we’ve made it very simple for you. Everything you need is in this Word document, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on an important detail and scrambling for that information at the last minute.

While real estate disclosure sounds like another bureaucratic document whose sole purpose is to ruin your schedule, they actually protect both the buyer and you from any disagreements or manipulation. All the information is on paper, signed and noted, so nobody points fingers later on and says, “this isn’t what you told me over coffee.”

Real estate disclosure forms include a description of the house and lot’s size, the age of the house and its individual components, additional remodeling, damage (you’ll need a professional inspector), even property taxed paid per year. It even includes lawsuits or claims over the property, like siblings or ex-spouses who haven’t relinquished property rights.

To prove to your buyer that nobody’s going to turn up on his doorstep accusing him of “stealing his or her house,” you’ll need a quitclaim deed. It’s a waiver of rights or claims to the property, and is legally required if the property was once jointly owned or is part of an inheritance that technically should be distributed among several children.

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