You’ll encounter both home inspections and seller disclosures when buying and selling a home. These two aspects of real estate transactions are more related than you may think. Everyone involved needs to understand the legality of a seller’s disclosures in Colorado Springs. And home inspections play a big part. That’s why it’s vital to hire a professional home inspector who understands these forms and what they mean for the buyer and seller.
What is a Seller’s Disclosure?
The Colorado Real Estate Commission requires a Seller’s Property Disclosure (SPD) when listing a property. This legal document is a statement from the seller about the property’s condition. This form asks sellers to give their current actual knowledge about any problems or improvements, such as:
- Telephone lines
- And other
Should I Give the Seller’s Disclosure to my Home Inspector?
A resounding yes! Our founder, Jim, always asks to see the seller’s disclosure when inspecting a home because it provides him with useful information. A professional home inspector in Colorado Springs will understand the state’s disclosure form and know what to look for in the house. Sellers and buyers both benefit from having their inspector read the disclosure.
Sellers who do a pre-listing inspection have a more complete SPD. Buyers can double-check what’s on the form with an assessment of their own. If inspectors know what the seller has and has not disclosed, they can look for known and unknown issues. They will assess the actual condition and provide more information about the problems listed on the disclosure. Likewise, they can double-check anything not listed to ensure nothing was missed.
What Sellers Need to Know
The SPD is a legal form where you list the home’s condition to the best of your knowledge. Of course, you must fill out the form truthfully, but you can’t disclose what you do not know. As a result, many homeowners schedule a pre-listing inspection. Plus, you avoid unwanted surprises from the buyer’s inspection.
While the real estate agent will explain the form to you, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to complete the form. Your broker can’t fill it out for you. Disclosing everything protects you against legal liability and helps your real estate agent determine the best list price. In addition, a thorough disclosure puts the seller at an advantage, and negotiations run smoother when buyers understand the actual condition of the house.
What Buyers Need to Know
The seller’s disclosure is not the same thing as a property inspection. In fact, the Colorado SPD form states that the “Buyer should thoroughly inspect the Property and obtain expert assistance to accurately and fully evaluate the Property to confirm the status.” The SPD is simply a checklist where the seller checks the “yes” box if they know of any problems that have ever existed in the home. For example, they tick “yes” next to “roof leak” because it leaked in the past. Next, the seller writes a comment saying the leak was repaired in 2015. Home inspectors who read this will know to check the quality of the roof repair.
If the “yes” box is blank, the seller has no knowledge of any such issues. Unfortunately, homes can have subtle problems that go unnoticed for years. For example, a sewer scope might uncover a partial blockage that the seller didn’t know about. So, you can’t solely rely on what the seller says. Buyers also need a home inspection to examine areas where the seller has no knowledge.
Seller’s Disclosures in Colorado Springs
The seller’s disclosure and home inspection report give important information when buying and selling real estate. That’s why Jim always asks to look at the seller’s disclosure. Any information about the property’s condition helps him provide a thorough and accurate assessment. Schedule an inspection today by calling 719-491-1520.