Q. Disclosure AND Home Inspection Needed?

Q. Hey Mark,

I’m buying a house and was told I need to have an inspection? Shouldn’t the disclosure tell me everything I need to know?




A. Hey June,

Theoretically, the seller’s disclosure should reveal all concerns the sellers are aware of in the home. Practically speaking though, it would be unwise for any buyer to rely on the disclosure 100%.

While it has been my experience that people are generally honest, an occasional seller will be less than forthright in disclosing their full knowledge of the home. Some are desperate to sell the home and incorrectly feel the disclosure may keep folks from making an offer. Some may actually try to hide known defects. You also run the risk of the seller not being aware of all the defects in the home. Often, I discover non-professional “repairs” during a home inspection that do not meet any standards for safety.

Likewise, a seller may not have the expertise to recognize a particular problem. A seller may not know their insulation, siding, ductwork, or ceilings may contain materials known to contain asbestos. Sellers may not have recently tested their home for Radon gas, and might not be aware of elevated levels. Sellers may not know the wire their brother-in-law spliced together for them in the basement is unsafe. A seller may not have recently looked in their attic or crawlspace and would therefore be unaware that their attic houses a large nest of squirrels, or that their crawlspace is nothing more than a huge Petri dish of growing mold.

The seller’s disclosure gives the seller an opportunity to be forthright with their buyers and tell them about any problems they are aware of. However, the savvy buyer, won’t solely rely on it.


One Response

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

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