Real Estate 101 Sellers Disclosures
In our St George real estate market, an important part of Real Estate 101 discussion is the Sellers Disclosures. This is a document filled out by the person selling the home disclosing any problems or deficiencies they know about the house. A good example of this would be if they had a pipe burst in their home and a lot of water damage was done. This is a huge concern as mold could have developed if the clean up was not handled properly. Another example of important disclosure might be something to do with sewage drainage. If the toilets and sinks are constantly backed up, there may some issues that need to be dealt with.
Electrical issues can also be very costly to repair. One of the biggest concerns in many parts of the St George real estate market and Washington Real Estate market have to do with soils and settling issues. There may be some foundation cracks that are obvious, but it is possible to hide some of the obvious signs. The seller is obligated to inform the buyer of any and all problems they know about. If it is discovered later that they knowingly hid pertinent information they may be found liable, and forced to pay for the necessary remediation.
Components of the Sellers Disclosures
When purchasing St George real estate, it is important to understand all of the items that need to be addressed, including how the property is being used, and does it comply with current zoning laws. Is there any known legal action pending, or currently underway. The condition of the roof must be discussed, and any known deficiencies or leaks in the past. If the roof has had any repairs they must be explained. The natural gas, electricity, telephone, and cable must all be spoken to. If there have never been any issues with these items the seller can check no, with no explanation required. One concern that we have in our local St George real estate market is the intensity of the sun. This can accelerate the deterioration of some types of roofs, and exterior paint.
Southern Utah Water Rights
In the St George real estate market and in all of Southern Utah the water rights associated with the property are also a factor. This is very important when there are water rights currently being used on the property. This is more of a factor in a rural setting. Most transactions done in St George real estate areas and subdivisions will not have any issues dealing with water rights. The form does require the seller to declare who provides the water, for example the city or a well.
Sewer and Septic arrangements in the St George real estate area must also be explained. This is to clarify which type is currently being used. Heating and cooling are also important to address. An air conditioning unit can be very costly to replace, or even repair. The appliances, and any built in equipment should also be addressed. The next items on the form are fireplaces and stoves, which can also be expensive to repair. Other miscellaneous exterior and exterior features should be addressed. Termites and pests which are another expensive repair item have to be spoken to. If the home has had any remodeling this has to be divulged. It is important that the necessary permits where obtained associated with the remodeling that was done. The square footage of the home may be different from the St George real estate listing, and the Washington County tax records, especially if an unapproved remodel or addition was done.
Soils and Settling Issues
Structural and Soils issues may be the most costly issue in St George real estate area. If the seller hides any problems he or she knows about regarding soils, they will more than likely be facing legal problems in the future. If the home is in a homeowners association the seller must also provide all information about the association. One item at the end of the sellers disclosures requests information about any insurance claims the seller has had associated with the St George real estate. This is kind of a catch all, if the seller has been able to dance around any problems they have had, any insurance claims will have to be explained.
Given the complexity of today’s transaction, it is important that a person buying a selling home in the St George real estate market area use a qualified and trained agent to help them. Another great way to minimize problems is with the use of a home warranty and a home inspection. These are both designed to reduce the risk of a real estate transaction for both buyer and seller.