What to Look For on the Seller Disclosure Form

The seller’s disclosure form is among the most important documents you will evaluate when buying a home. Why? It gives you a glimpse into the history of the home in a way that touring a property simply cannot give you. And that history could be the difference between landing a home you can happily say “yes” to and one that is doomed to be a money pit.

What is a seller disclosure form?

Typical disclosure reports contain information about the features and history of the home’s internal and external structures, including appliances, roofing and foundation, environmental hazards, zoning regulations, and more. The owners are responsible for truthfully disclosing any information they personally know about, but they are not expected to hire outside experts to identify unknown problems.

How to interpret a seller disclosure form

The purpose of the seller’s disclosure form is for potential buyers to get a truthful look at the home’s past and present defects, problems, or upgrades. Knowing where money was invested and why could clue you into bigger problems that lurk beneath the upgrade or remodel. Were the carpets replaced due to flooding, or did termites munch through wood and cause the foundation to slip?

If something on the disclosure form doesn’t jibe with what you’re seeing visually in the home or with what the inspector’s report pulls up, it’s important to voice those concerns and dig a little deeper. Major expenses can be hiding right between the lines on the page if you’re not careful.

Conversely, however, what you see on a disclosure should not necessarily make or break your purchase. While it should be viewed as another point of data to help you make an informed decision, the important part is simply being aware of what you’re walking into. Whether buying or selling, be smart about the disclosure form and be sure to ask us at Drew Kern any questions.