Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 1/26/2018

What Is The Disclosure Statement?


Disclosure statements are used in many of lifeís situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a sellerís disclosure are:


  • Water in the basement
  • Updates made to the home
  • Known pests
  • Paranormal activity
  • Death on the property
  • Past fires
  • Nearby major construction projects
  • Title 5 sewerage issues 


Disclosures Serves As Protections


The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyerís perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying. 


On the sellerís side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.


How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure


Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted.  The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasnít properly presented on the statement.  


How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?


The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.  


Whatís Disclosed To Buyers?


The disclosure doesnít have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that youíre selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.


Itís easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the cityís zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family. 


Problems that youíll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions. 


Remember that the disclosure doesnít substitute the buyerís right to a professional inspection of the property. Itís important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure theyíre making a good investment.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 1/5/2018

When youíre selling a home, remember that honesty is the best policy. If you do decide to be dishonest as a seller, there can be some major legal consequences heading your way at a later date. As a general rule, if you think you should disclose something then you probably need to tell the buyer about it. There are a few things that are major concerns for sellers. If you know about any of the events mentioned below, you need to include it in your sellerís disclosure.


Lead Paint


Lead paint is a major concern especially for families with children. If your home was built before 1978, youíll need to sign a disclosure stating whether or not you know of any lead paint on the property. If you are unaware of any issues with the paint, then you are not legally obligated to provide information, since you donít know any better. If you did know that the home was de-leaded or have had lead paint testing done, youíll need to disclose this info for the buyerís knowledge. 


Emotional Defects


If there was ever a death on the property that you knew about, youíll need to disclose this to your buyers. Murders, suicides, and violent crimes all need to be revealed if they happened on your property. While itís an unpleasant thing to think about, buyers have a right to know. Deaths that have occurred before a certain time span may not need to be disclosed. You can check with the specific rules in your own state.    


Paranormal Activity



When it comes to selling your home, there are certain things that you may find silly but others find that they need to know. This includes any kind of paranormal activity like ghosts. Some states require that you release any information you may have about ghosts on a property in order to sell your home. If you believe the house is haunted, you have an obligation to tell buyers about it. If an exorcism or other strange activity has occurred on the property, youíll need to tell buyers about that as well. Thereís no issue too small when it comes to disclosing things about your home.


Water Issues


If your home has any kind of flooding problems or drainage issues, you should tell your buyers about it. Everything from a basement that floods to standing water in the backyard can be an issue. If you know about it as a seller and do not tell your buyers, you could face some serious consequences from it. If you have fixed these issues in the past, itís also worth adding to your disclosure as buyers will know that you have been proactive in taking care of any problems on the property.





Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 12/8/2017

Ready to add your residence to the real estate market? A home appraisal may prove to be a great first step.

With a home appraisal, you'll be able to understand the true value of your house. This comprehensive home assessment enables an expert home appraiser to evaluate every room in your home. Then, a home appraiser will provide details about your home's strengths and weaknesses.

Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider after a home appraisal is completed, including:

1. What did the home appraiser discover during the evaluation?

A home appraiser boasts in-depth home maintenance knowledge and insights. As such, this professional will do everything possible to identify problem areas with you home that you can repair before you add your residence to the housing market.

Consider the results of a home appraisal closely. By doing so, you can understand your home's strengths and weaknesses and search for ways to transform your house's weaknesses into strengths.

Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations for your residence after a home appraisal.

If a home appraiser discovers myriad problems with your residence, there is no need to worry. You can always repair these issues on your own or hire home maintenance professionals for extra help.

Or, if you decide not to complete home repairs following a home inspection, you should price your residence accordingly. That way, you can be honest with homebuyers about the pros and cons associated with your home and enable these homebuyers to make informed decisions about your residence.

2. Are there major or minor problems with my house?

What differentiates a major home problem from a minor one? The time and resources required to fix a problem often serve as key indicators about whether an issue can cause major headaches over an extended period of time.

For example, an oven light that has gone out can be replaced quickly and effortlessly. On the other hand, your home's obsolete, inefficient furnace may require thousands of dollars to replace.

Simple home improvements can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. Following a home inspection, you may be able to find a variety of quick, easy and effective home improvement tasks that you can complete to enhance your home's appeal.

Be prepared to complete major home improvement projects as well. Remember, if you finish assorted home improvement tasks now, you may be able to help your residence stand out in a highly competitive real estate market down the line.

3. Which home repairs should I prioritize?

Home repairs should help you maximize the value of your residence. Therefore, you should prioritize home maintenance projects that will help you transform your ordinary residence into an exceptional one.

If you need help to determine which home repairs to prioritize, don't forget that a real estate agent may help you do just that. This real estate professional will work with you throughout the home selling process and ensure you can enhance your residence both inside and out.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 11/10/2017

If you are looking to sell your home and move out of a major city, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure that you can enjoy a seamless home selling experience, even if your residence is located in the heart of a major city.

Now, let's take a look at three tips for selling a home in a major city.

1. Know Your Target Homebuyer

Think about what led you to buy your city home in the first place. Then, you can put together a home listing that highlights your home's features, thereby increasing the likelihood that your house will generate plenty of interest from potential buyers.

When you create a home listing, think about a city homebuyer's perspective. By doing so, you can ensure that your home listing hits the mark with the right group of buyers.

For example, if your home is located near popular city attractions, it may be worthwhile to include this information in your home listing. Or, if your home includes a new roof and other upgrades, you should incorporate lots of details about these upgrades into your home listing.

2. Establish an Aggressive Price for Your Residence

What you originally paid for your city home is unlikely to match the value of your residence today. However, with a comprehensive approach to analyzing your home's strengths and weaknesses, you can establish an aggressive home listing price from day one.

It often pays to conduct a home appraisal prior to adding a city home to the real estate market. During a home appraisal, a property expert will evaluate your residence, as well as compare and contrast your house against similar homes. After a home appraisal is finished, you will receive a property valuation that can help you set a competitive initial asking price for your house.

Don't forget to check out the prices of comparable houses in your city, either. With this housing market data at your disposal, you can see how your residence stacks up against the competition and price it accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to put together a home listing, price your residence or perform assorted home selling tasks, you should contact a local real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you try to sell your city residence.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house in any city, at any time. Therefore, this housing market professional will make it easy for you to maximize the value of your city home.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will add your city residence to the real estate market, promote it to potential buyers and keep you up to date throughout the property selling journey.

When it comes to selling a home in a major city, it helps to take an informed approach. Use the aforementioned home selling tips, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.




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Posted by Sharon Lanen Coskren on 10/20/2017

A garage sale represents a great opportunity for a home seller. This event enables you to eliminate clutter from your home as well as earn extra cash that you may be able to put toward your future residence. As such, a garage sale should not be taken lightly, and you should do everything you can to prep for this event. So what does it take to host a successful garage sale? Here are three tips that you need to know: 1. Make Your Garage Sale a Family-Friendly Event. It's tough to put together a garage sale on your own. However, you may be able to enlist family members and friends to help you transform an ordinary garage sale into an instant success. Family members and friends can help you organize the items you'd like to sell, offer assistance to shoppers who may be interested in various items and ensure you're able to clean up after your garage sale is complete. Of course, you should offer incentives to encourage family members and friends to help you with your garage sale, too. Whether it's hosting a barbecue in conjunction with your event or offering each helper a share of your garage sale profits, it's important to show your family members and friends that you appreciate their hard work and dedication as they work toward making your garage sale a success. 2. Avoid the Dangers of Overpricing. As a home seller, the goal of your garage sale should be to get rid of any excess items in your house. Thus, you need to avoid the dangers associated with overpricing, because asking too much for numerous items will do little to generate interest among shoppers. Try to be flexible about pricing during your garage sale. Typically, shoppers may ask to negotiate a price on an item, and you should be willing to reconsider your initial price if necessary. A successful negotiation will result in a win-win situation in which both you and the shopper are happy with the results. And with a flexible approach to pricing, you should have no trouble getting rid of a wide range of items at your garage sale and earning substantial profits along the way, too. 3. Don't Forget About the Importance of Customer Service. A customer-oriented approach is paramount throughout your garage sale, and it may enable you to maximize your sales during the event as well. If a shopper has a question, try to respond immediately. Or, if a shopper is ready to check out, provide service with a smile. A friendly, positive attitude can make a world of difference during a garage sale. Therefore, you should remain courteous and approachable during your event and be ready to assist shoppers in any way you can. Hosting a garage sale may seem like a major challenge, particularly for home sellers who lack extensive time and resources. But with the aforementioned tips, you can get organized and make the most of your garage sale.