Non disclosure – in real estate? “Really?”

A while back, I said I was going to begin a series of posts with the “really?” theme associated with some of the odd things I see happen in my business. So, once again, it is time to vent just a tad…

If you know me, you know that I have a pet peeve about some of the things that happen in the real estate industry. Many of these things have to do with the “different rules for different people” mentality.

For instance, I often wonder why/how the major home builders get away with saying you “must use our lender” and you “must use our title company” for services. I know most of the reasons – that will probably be a whole new post on a whole new day. The main excuse reason was/is that they have bulk rates with “preferred vendors”, etc.

Getting back to today’s rant, I’ll focus on the “Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement” or “SPDS” (spuds is a common term we use).

Many of the banks and short sales have the language of “no SPDS” in their property profile sheets. Basically, they must feel like they are limiting their liability by trying to get a buyer to waive receipt of something so common to our residential resale real estate purchase contract that it is pre-printed into the document.

Well, since the banks are doing it, why shouldn’t others, right? Today, I saw this language written in the agent remarks section of an mls print out. Not that it is the first time I have ever seen it, this just happens to be the first time I have vented about it, to you.

Property Sold As/Is. No Disclosures or Warranty Provided. Owner is a licensed real estate broker in AZ and the listing agent.”

No disclosure? Really? Why not? In Arizona, and I assume other states as well, every buyer is entitled to a SPDS. The fact is, even if someone has never lived in a property, there are many questions on the Seller Property Disclosure Statement that an owner would know.

Some basic questions from an Arizona Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement are:

  1. From line 3:  Property address.
  2. From line 6: Legal owner(s) of property:
  3. From line 21: Are you aware if there are any association(s) governing the property?

Many of the questions are pretty basic and any owner “could” answer a number of the questions. Granted, banks or an owner that has never lived in a home might not be able to completely fill out a “SPDS” as much as we would like.

It is recommended that if a buyer is refused a SPDS by an owner of a property they would like to purchase, a blank copy of that document be given to the buyer for review. The blank document might be beneficial in helping to bring attention to possible items of concern or importance. Another form that is helpful in determining things to consider is called a “Buyer’s Advisory” form which can be a very good resource of information.

If you have any questions about any of the forms mentioned, please feel free to call me to discus, I’m always glad to talk shop…

About Nick Bastian

Nick Bastian is a 24 year veteran of the real estate industry and enjoys his career very much. Nick is always available to "talk shop" with anyone that may have real estate related questions. "Just Call Nick" at 602-803-NICK (6425) - he's glad to help.
Nick can also be found over on the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog and on Twitter or out and about in the community making friends and having some fun.

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