Property Disclosures…What Will You Find Out?
Whenever you’re considering putting an offer on a house, it’s always a good idea to check out the Property Condition Disclosure Report. While the listing will show you all the factual data – the year the house was built, number of rooms, type of plumbing, etc., the condition report gives you insight into any hidden issues or previous problems the house may have had. Keep in mind, this document is completed by the seller and they are not supposed to be ‘coached’ by their realtor to fill it out.
What should I be looking for?
The disclosure report (in CT) is a standardized, 5-page document that covers a number of areas in the house, including the mechanicals, roof, damage, repairs, etc. Keep in mind, it’s only a report from the most current seller. If there were any changes or problems prior, the current seller may not have that info. Take a look at a blank report here.
The document runs through plumbing, heating, electric systems, walls, floors, insulation, pests, etc. There are, of course, plenty of items the seller may just not know and they’re allowed to mark ‘unknown’ in that case. It’s a good way to see if there are any red flags you should keep an eye out for or it could give you a reason to not put in an offer in the first place.
So I can just skip the inspection right?
‘new roof 2019!’
UMMMMMMMMM no. I would never tell any client to skip an inspection unless they’re an investor with a huge budget and a good enough return on investment that any repairs wouldn’t get in their way. Always do an inspection!! Just because the document lists a few things (or maybe lists nothing) doesn’t mean there aren’t unknown issues or problems the sellers didn’t mention. You also want to check if there’s anything the seller listed as fixed to make sure it’s fixed and functioning correctly. A second opinion is always good.
In sum, nearly every property will have one of these documents that you’ll sign to go along with your offer (so make sure you read it!) But, you’ll still do an inspection for your own due diligence.