Seller’s Property Disclosures.

Seller's Property Disclosures

Instructions on the Seller’s Property Disclosures state that “each seller of residential property described in ORS 105.465 must deliver this form to each buyer who makes a written offer to purchase.  Under 5 ORS 105.475 (4), refusal to provide this form gives the buyer the right to revoke their offer at any time prior to closing the transaction. Use only the 6section(s) of the form that apply to the transaction for which the form is used.

Even though you have a Seller’s Property Disclosure, you as the buyer still has a responsibility to determine the condition of the property. When purchasing a house it is good to remember,” buyers beware”.  Property disclosures are very important to a buyer and seller’s need to take care and answer truthfully to the best of their knowledge.

I had a client who owned a rental property for 8 years and on the Seller’s Property Disclosure answered most of the questions with “unknown”  because he had not been back to the property.  The buyer thought the seller was hiding something and after reading the disclosure terminated the offer.  I went to the seller and asked for a detailed letter of explanation as to why everything was unknown and also asked for a letter detailing any information about the property while he owned it.  Since the house was a rental and managed by a Property Management Company he would occasionally get a bill for minor repairs which he outlined over the course of his ownership.

The sale was put back together, but the buyer’s paid very close attention to the home inspection.

There are circumstances where the seller’s don’t have to provide disclosures and they are:

  1.  New home and never lived in.
  2.  Financial Institution that acquired the property as a result of foreclosure.
  3.  Appointed by the court as a receiver, personal representative, trustee, conservator, or guardian.

Under those circumstances “buyer beware” takes on a whole new meaning.   The Seller’s Property Disclosures change every year, seem to get a little longer with more questions and are now requiring additional a written explanation for any question with an asterisk.

When I sold real estate in NY there were property disclosure for sellers but no one filled it out.  Instead they had the option to give the buyer a $500.00 credit at closing.  That is because the NY disclosures made the seller responsible everything about the property back to the beginning of time, even before they purchased it.  The attorneys in NY don’t like the form and advised the seller not to fill it out.