Today we’re going to talk about the seller’s property disclosure.
Bob Nelson, Eugene real estate investment broker
Marcia Edwards, Eugene residential real estate broker
Marcia Edwards: It’s fascinating to me when a seller says, “I’m going to do an as-is sale.” So they get it with all the mistakes and problems in the property. It’s their thing. It’s sort of like those grab bags at auctions that are just brown paper bags. Could be worth 20 bucks, could be worth 200, I don’t know. But it’s an as is sale. That’s always amusing and interesting to me.
Bob Nelson: Well, it really is because, and as a seller, I would love to say, “I’m selling this baby as is. You check the tires, you check the oil, whatever your process or due diligence would be. You check it out and buy, based upon what you find.”
Marcia Edwards: There is a level of law and obligation beyond that to you, as a seller, that we need to make you aware of. You’ve got to make sure that the buyer is aware and understand that anything you know about the property as a latent material defect, the story of your property is relevant and must be shared with the buyer.
Bob Nelson: Well, there’s a common law obligation to do that as a seller. Common law is law that’s established by judges in court. And how does a judge see disclosure? How does a judge see what’s required of disclosure? Certainly there are statutes that deal with. However, say, house, duplex, threeplex or fourplex there’s seller’s property disclosure form. And other forms that are required. Fireplaces and on, and on, and on. That’s if it’s a fourplex. What if it’s a fiveplex? Those forms don’t apply. Oh, yes they do in the common law form but not on the form format and form that we’d use if it was a fourplex. There’s still that obligation of law.
Marcia Edwards: So the state of Oregon requires that you provide this to your buyer, as a seller, and you make sure they understand what you understand about the property and knowledge. That does not mean they’re not going to get inspections of their own, but you do need to share that. You would share it unless you’re a court-appointed seller or it’s brand new construction. Other than that, you’re not off the hook. So consider the need is there, even if you’re selling it as is, to make sure they understand what you know about the property.
Bob Nelson: And if you honestly don’t know a thing, tell them, “I don’t know a thing. I’ve never seen the property,” whatever it would be. And, at least you’re disclosing what you know. However, if your uncle, who gave you the house said, “This sucker is on a dopey soil and is sliding off a hill,” that’s a… Even though you haven’t seen it, you know something, you better be sharing it.
Join Eugene, Oregon, real estate experts: Bob Nelson, Real Estate Investment Broker with Pacwest Real Estate Investments, and Marcia Edwards, Residential Real Estate Broker with Windermere Real Estate, daily at 5:30pm on KPNW for the “Real Estate Today” radio show.