Thanks so much for checking out the Real Estate Today podcast. Right now, we’re going to discuss disclosure, the sharing of information.
Bob Nelson: I’m Bob Nelson, Eugene commercial real estate investment broker with Pac West Real Estate Investments.
Marcia Edwards: And I’m Marcia Edwards, residential broker with Windermere Real Estate. We’ve been talking about the standard, the usual, the typical real estate transaction, typical whether it is residential, commercial, or investment. There are some common threads that as a consumer you want to be alerted to the process. Let’s talk about the disclosure, the sharing of information from the person that knows the property best to that potential buyer.
Bob Nelson: That’s a good point because if a contest comes up where it’s a argument or disagreement, it ends up in court, the judge will generally favor the one with the least amount of information. The seller, you better disclose those latent property defects, because they’re going to be discovered either prior to closing or after closing. If it’s after closing, they come after you with a stick and an attorney because that’s called misrepresentation, omitting a material fact that someone relied upon to their detriment.
Marcia Edwards: And saying, “Well, this is an as-is sale,” is no security from that process. You are compelled by law, by law in the state of Oregon, to share any defects on the property of which you are aware. If the roofer comes back after close to do something on the buyer’s behalf, the new owner, and they say, “We were here six months ago,” and that was new information, that can really light up. Let’s talk about disclosures. In residential, we have a little bit of a safe haven compelling you to think of everything you can about the property, because the Oregon legislature has put together a document called the seller’s property disclosure. It is required if you have occupied the property that you share the information on this form that’s pretty comprehensive about what you know on the property.
Bob Nelson: That applies to a house, a duplex, a triplex, and a fourplex. Unfortunately it is not required of a fiveplex or other commercial transactions. I would love to have the seller fill that out because as a broker, the seller knows things that they may be trying to “get away with,” which will reflect poorly on the broker as they’re discovered later.
Marcia Edwards: Or, just recently in my circumstance, I don’t think they remembered that there was an oil tank removed 40 years ago when they brought the property. They did remember it when the inspector said, “There was a oil tank on this property?” The seller’s like, “Oh my goodness, there was.” So it’s great to really be comprehensive and dig back in your records that you have written, or look at the disclosure even if you’re not required to use it. I’m Marcia Edwards, Windermere Real Estate.
Bob Nelson: And I’m Bob Nelson, Eugene commercial real estate investment broker with Pac West Real Estate Investments.