In showing a residential property last week, I spoke to the owner as I was asking for the Sellers Disclosure. The Owner provided a copy and as I was reading the disclosure, I asked a few questions about some areas contained in the form. The Owner promptly told me that she didn’t know…the listing agent had filled it out. All I could say was, “Really”!
That is what prompted me to write this week’s blog. Know that latent defects law says that seller must disclose anything, that is not readily observable in a property for sale. The listing agent doesn’t live in the property, and can’t know any defects and can cause the Seller to be liable if something is not disclosed. Consequently, there is the possibility that the agent can be held accountable as the form definitively says that the Sellers must fill out. Now the agent can caution the seller to be brief in describing a defect or aspect in the property. There isn’t a lot of room for several paragraphs, but on the other hand the seller can attach a roof repair invoice or termite warranty so as to make the disclosure clearer to the buyer. The listing agent can certainly explain the disclosure form and why it is necessary as it can save the seller from difficulties later. But under no circumstances should the agent fill it out. Remember it calls for the Sellers signature and the Buyers signature. Signatures are necessary as they represent that both sides acknowledge having read the document.
So my fellow REALTORS, let’s be good to each other and remember the Code of Ethics as we go about our business!
Until Next Monday…