How Do I Know If There Is Something Worrying In The Disclosures?

Disclosure packets are filled with a wealth of information about the home. There are written disclosures from the seller and the listing agent about what they know about the property. There is usually an inspection report from a third-party who has spent hours on-site visually inspecting the property. There is information from the city or county about the home’s permitting history. There are a number of regulatory-mandate disclosures about purchasing real estate and the environmental risks for properties in that geography.

With disclosure packets often running 100+ pages, and with sellers, listing agents and third-party inspectors erring on the side of over-disclosing (to avoid the risk of being accused of failing to disclosure a material fact about the home), interpreting the disclosure packet can be both time consuming and concerning. Am I understanding everything that is in the disclosures, is anything missing from the disclosures that should be there, or worse, am I buying a lemon of a home?

The surest way of understanding the disclosures is to read through every page carefully and review any concerning points in detail with your buying agent, or potentially with with listing agent or third-party inspector. However this takes a lot of time, and can be confusing for someone who isn’t used to reading disclosures. Buying agents also have incentives for you to not be overly concerned about “something minor” that may prevent you from putting in a competitive offer (and from them earning their commission check).

Relying solely on your buying agent’s review of the disclosures is also not fool-proof. While your agent should have experience in reviewing disclosure packets, they could have missed something or inadvertently glossed over it. When your buying agent says “I’ve read the disclosures and there’s only a few minor things in there that I wouldn’t worry about” it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when you’re about to submit a multi-million dollar purchase offer.

At Unlocked, we’ve created the Disclosure Review Summary (DRS) to help our buyers review, interpret and summarize the disclosures. We built the DRS as the most transparent and simplest way for our clients to get comfortable with the contents of the disclosure packet. In the DRS, we give a summary assessment of each of the key documents within the disclosure packet, as well as highlighting anything concerning or abnormal. We also give a detailed assessment of everything we’ve found in the disclosures, so you can view all of the issues (even the minor ones) in the disclosure packet and read Unlocked’s assessment of each point.

If there’s a property that you are considering, and would like to see Unlocked’s Disclosure Review Summary for that property, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Buyers' Guide