Reviewing Seller's Property Disclosures
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
We will receive Seller’s Disclosure documentation from the Seller’s Agent near the beginning of the transaction. Sellers (with a few exceptions noted below) are required by Oregon law to provide disclosures regarding their actual knowledge of the property. They will complete a standardized form with answers regarding the condition of the title, the functionality of the systems in the house, and any problems or repairs they’ve done. The Seller has a legal responsibility to disclose known defects, and Realtors also have a responsibility to disclose anything they know about a property which is not readily ascertainable by visual inspection.
Once we receive the Seller’s Disclosures, you have 5 business days to review the disclosures and request additional clarification if any questions arise. I will have you sign off on all the disclosure statements as verification that they have been received, however this does not mean that you cannot request additional information or even back out of the purchase based on the information contained in the disclosures. The deadline for cancelling the transaction is 5 business days after receipt of the Seller’s Disclosures.
It is very important to review these disclosures with a critical eye, but also take them with a grain of salt in the sense that you will not rely on anything the Sellers tell you without your own verification of the facts. It’s up to you to protect yourself during your real estate purchase, and to ask the right questions about the condition and history of the property.
There are a few scenarios in which Seller’s Disclosures will not be provided, including if the property is being sold by a representative of an estate, if a property is new construction & has never been occupied before, and if the property has been foreclosed upon and is now being sold by a lending institution. In all of these cases, the entity or person selling the property has not lived in the house and cannot properly disclose any known issues.
Occasionally, Sellers who do not meet the exemptions above will fail to (or refuse to) provide Seller’s Disclosures. This is rare, but it does happen. If this is the case during your property purchase, you as the Buyer have an additional burden regarding your due diligence. If the Seller doesn’t meet the exemptions and Seller’s Disclosures are not delivered to you, it is possible for you to cancel the transaction all the way up until the date of closing.
Questions about Seller’s Property Disclosures? Let’s talk!