What should I disclose to any potential buyers that are gonna buy and purchase my house? Today Aldo wants to talk to you about one of the most common questions that our clients who are selling their house asked us. And that is, what should we disclose to them?
So here in Washington State, anything material that is happening to the house, you need to disclose, if given a Form 17, or a seller's disclosure. So first off what is a seller's disclosure? Let's back it up.
When you're selling your home, and you are filling out all the paperwork, one form that your realtor is gonna hand to you is what we know as a Form 17, or a form called a seller's disclosure. And it's gonna have a bunch of questions, like are you legally able to sell this house? Has your home leaked? Or has your house roof leaked in the last five years? Do you know of any pests that are happening or been in your house? Things like that.
Now, there's a lot of these questions that you can answer yes, no, I don't know, or non-applicable. So you have to answer all these questions to the best of your knowledge most recent years that you were the owner of the home. Now, some of those questions, you may not know the answers to because you've only lived there for five years and the house was built in 1970. Thats okay. But if you are the homeowner and you do know if your house roof has leaked in the last five years, you need to mark yes that you know.
Anything that is material, meaning anything that has to do with your home and the actual structure of your house, you need to disclose to the buyer. However, deaths, murders, ghosts that are in your house, anything of that sort, you actually don't have to disclose that in the state of Washington. We dealt with a house down south, not too long ago, where there was a death, and we didn't have to disclose that but the seller wanted to anyways because they didn't want the buyers or someone purchasing their home to actually find out and then go ahead and bail because maybe it was haunted. So when you're selling a home, it's really important you disclose to any potential buyers anything you're aware of in your home.
If there's something wrong with your appliances, with your roof, with your crawl space, I would try to do my best to get those replaced or fixed. Because you wanna get your house spotless, to begin with. And to get the most money, you're going to want to have these big items replaced or fixed.
By doing all this work, you can actually avoid potential issues or lawsuits once your home is under contract, after the inspections, and even years after your home has sold. Because if the future homeowner actually finds out that your roof has leaked within the last five years, and you disclosed that it didn't, there could be possible lawsuits that come your way if they seek a lawyer, and they choose to go that way.
So please, remember, just disclose the major things that are gonna be wrong with your house, there's gonna be a lot of things that you do or do not know, and that's okay.