Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Disclosure

Whose obligation is it to disclose pertinent information about a property?
In Delaware it is the responsibility of the Seller. Under the law, you and I, as your agent,  are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property which are known or accessible only to you. This might include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice.  Plus any restrictions on the use of the property, such as zoning ordinances or association rules.

What are the standard contingencies?
Most purchase offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on the buyers' ability to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows buyers to have professionals inspect the property to their satisfaction. As a buyer, you could forfeit your deposit under certain circumstances, such as backing out of the deal for a reason not stipulated in the contract. The purchase contract must include the sellers responsibilities, such things as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.

Do I need an attorney when I buy a house?
Yes, in Delaware you need an attorney to complete a real estate transaction. In looking for an attorney, I will be more than happy  to recommend several. 

What repairs should the seller make?
If you want to get top dollar for your property, you probably need to make all minor repairs and selected major repairs before going on the market. Nearly all purchase contracts include an inspection clause, a buyer contingency that allows a buyer to back out if numerous defects are found or negotiate their repair. 

Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.

How do I get the real scoop on homes I am looking at?

Home inspections, the seller disclosure and my experience will help you to get the full picture on the house you are looking to buy. But really unless the Seller is under duress the negotiations usually land both parties at a fair price. 

People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes,  rules and regulations plus the financial status on the condominium association as well as restrictions or other deed restrictions.  

Also, the home inspection and home warranty industries have grown significantly to accommodate increased demand from cautious buyers. Be sure to ask questions about anything that remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.

Chris Rath
Chris Rath
Realtor / Property Manager