Realtor® Legal Tip – Seller Disclosures!! Recent litigation filed.
June 5, 2019
Author: Curtis Bullock
** Listing Agents – please educate your seller about the importance of the Seller Property Condition Disclosure form.
Over the past couple of weeks I have read two lawsuits that have been filed against sellers and in one case against the listing agent for failure to disclose material defects on the home (i.e., breach of contract, fraudulent non-disclosure claims). Both cases dealt with section 7(a) of the REPC which contractually requires the seller to provide a written seller property condition disclosure to the buyer. In both cases, the seller was alleged to have failed to accurately fill out the disclosure form by checking “No” on most of the questions (meaning that the seller had no knowledge about the question asked on the form).
*When representing the seller, take some extra time and explain the sellers duties as noted in section 7 and 10.3 of the REPC. Then take a few minutes and explain what the Seller Property Condition Disclosure form is and why it’s so important.
*Note on electronic forms & E signatures – Most of you send forms to your client electronically. This is a very convenient and good way to send forms but the one drawback is that clients often don’t read through and understand the forms. They just click where to sign and sign. That’s where you as a licensed professional come in. When you send the forms, pick up the phone and call your client and stress the importance of filling out the form accurately and honestly and offer to answer any questions they have. This will save them from almost certain legal action down the road should there be a problem with the property.