Realtor® Legal Tip – Should the listing and/or buyer’s agent make sure the seller completely fills out the seller property condition disclosure form?
December 12, 2017
Author: Curtis Bullock
Suppose you provide the Seller Property Condition Disclosure (SPCD) form to your seller. She fills it out but misses question 4(a) that asks about whether there has been leaks in the roof. The property is sold and and the first time it rains the roof leaks. You get a phone call from the buyer’s agent who asks whether the seller had this problem in the past. A dispute arises between the buyer and seller. It turns out that the seller was aware of the leaks but didn’t want to mention it in section 4(a) of the SPCD form so it was intentionally left blank. Neither the listing agent or buyer’s agent caught it. Everyone starts pointing fingers at each other.
Obviously the seller may have some liability here. Seller’s are required to disclose defects in accordance with section 10.3 of the REPC. Negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation are common legal theories used in cases like this.
However, the other question I have for Realtors® is – Should the listing agent and/or buyer’s agent have made sure the SPCD form was filled out in it’s entirety?
What are your thoughts?
In my opinion, both the listing and buyer’s agent should review the SPCD only for completeness. Listing agents certainly should not fill out the form for the seller, but simply looking it over to make sure it has been all filled out and that nothing is left blank would be a good thing to do.
Likewise, the buyer’s agent should also quickly look at the SPCD form and make sure it is complete. If it’s not, the Buyer’s agent could kindly contact the listing agent and get the information needed.