I advise my seller clients to write everything they can that they know about their home on that CT Seller Disclosure Form. Even attach pages, if they needed to. In the state of Connecticut, where I live and sell homes, it is the law.
The penalty for not providing a buyer with the disclosure form, when they make their offer, is now $400.00. Whether it is sold by the owner or by a real estate broker. The state of Connecticut just raised that penalty from $300.00. We will be issued new forms in the coming months.
This is a good advantage for the seller's to take. Most people have maintained their homes. Some have updated them. Many people improve the home, prior to listing it. All good for the buyers. This is good for the sellers, also. It will make their home more appealing to the buyers. Unknown or missing information can be frightening when making such a significant purchase. Better to show off your improvements for your home!
Every once in awhile, we come across a seller who has checked no or unknown, throughout the three pages of the report. Even the lead and mold disclosures are checked, unknown. This can be a warning to buyers. Have they done nothing to this home while they lived there? There seems to be a new kitchen, new doors, new boiler, etc. I suggest asking the listing agent if there might be a list of improvements. Maybe, the sellers don't understand how valuable the seller disclosure can be for the sale of their home. Sometimes we receive a list, sometimes we don't. According to state law estates, foreclosures and new construction properties, are not required by law to fill out this form.
Currently, our state legislatures are updating the form, since the penalty increased. When they do, we will need to update each of our listings with that new form filled out by the seller. Whether they are owner occupied or not.
Regardless, I always advise my clients to have their own home inspection. I refer to it as "cheap insurance" going forward. Many of the home inspectors offer helpful tips on maintenance and changes that they can make, that will enhance the property. Learning about homeownership can be exciting and rewarding!
Click here to access the state's Seller Disclosure Form.