Sellers disclosures were a great introduction to the real estate transaction, it put the responsibility on the seller to disclose all known defects that materially affected the value of the property and for residential sales I think it was an important step to help protect the buyer.
It is however a slightly different situation with vacation homes.
Take one of our clients for example who purchased a townhouse in 2011. They decided to sell their property in 2012 and had never visited the property they purchased– yet they had to fill out a sellers disclosure on a property they have never seen. Therein lies the problem with vacation homes. Many owners might have not been in the property they are selling in months or years – or never at all.
It’s a challenge we face with nearly every property that we work with, either incomplete or unanswered parts of the disclosure which unfortunately can give way to suspicion by a buyer.
We mention this not to take away from the importance of the disclosure, but to allow you to understand that the seller might not know the answer to many of the questions and to see the document from a sellers perspective.
Our main protection in the discovery is our home inspection carried out by one of our recommended home inspectors, any additional information we can gain from the sellers disclosure is a bonus but as informative as it might be we have to understand that information may be incomplete because the seller may not have the information readily available when completing this document.