Real Estate

What Should be Included in Real Estate Disclosure Statements?

If you are looking at purchasing a new home, it can be extremely difficult to determine the condition of every property you look at. Homes are often touched up and repaired before being listed on the market to increase their appeal and chance of selling. While these touch-ups and repairs increase the appeal of the home, they can also hide any glaring issues or potential flaws. That is why it is important for buyers to request a real estate disclosure agreement from the seller. Understanding what should be included in real estate disclosure agreements is crucial for ensuring peace of mind when making an offer. That is why the real estate and conveyancing experts at Sidhu & Associates have put together some information to help you understand what these statements are, what should be included in them, and if they are required.

What is a Real Estate Disclosure Statement?

Also known as a property disclosure statement, a real estate disclosure statement is a document that lists any current defects, repairs, and other significant property details to give buyers a complete picture of the home. This gives buyers the facts they need to make their purchase with confidence or reconsider their offer.

What is Typically Included in a Real Estate Disclosure Agreement?

The following information should be disclosed in any real estate disclosure agreement:

  • Any work performed on the house (upgrades, replacements, repairs, etc.)
  • Past problems with pests (termites, rats, etc.)
  • Neighbourhood disputes (property lines, etc.)
  • Defects or serious malfunctioning of HVAC systems and appliances
  • Major damage from flooding, weather, or accidents
  • If there are any liens on the property
  • If the seller has declared or is currently declaring bankruptcy

With this information, buyers will be able to determine if they want to proceed with the purchase and submit an offer.

Is a Real Estate Disclosure Agreement Required?

Though property disclosure statements are extremely helpful for buyers, they are not required by law. Sellers can opt to not provide one if requested as there can be legal ramifications if the information provided is not completely accurate. For example, if the seller claims that the roof is less than 1 year old, but it was installed 3 years ago, buyers can use that information as a form of warranty. It is also worth noting that if a home is not being sold by the primary resident or the seller is using an attorney, a real estate disclosure agreement will be difficult to obtain.

Despite the lack of legal requirement, failure to provide a real estate disclosure agreement may make it look as though the seller is trying to hide something. This means that providing a disclosure often becomes a balancing act between transparency and trying to avoid potential legal issues.

To learn more about real estate disclosure agreements or our notary services, get in touch with the team at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form or by phone at 604-859-4825 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.

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