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Selling House – To Disclose Or Not To Disclose

Buying a real estate property is tricky, especially when they come with traumatized incidents. Most sales contract states that seller needs to disclose anything and everything that happened in or with the house that is considered out of ordinary. Whether you need to let the buyers know about the incident or not depends on the incident itself. 

Let us start with the highway that is planned by the city near the seller’s house. Is the seller supposed to disclose it in the disclosure form? The answer is, maybe, because the buyer’s assessment of the property’s worth may change with this new information. What about the street widening in front of the house that will take about a feet from the front lawn? This is a gray area that depends on how the buyer or agent interprets it. However, the buyer needs to know about it as it is an encroachment that cannot be reversed. 

Another question that often comes to the seller’s mind is about disclosing termite eradication that happened many years ago. If there was a total eradication and the issue was fixed permanently, the buyer need not know about it. If there is a termite bond indicating that the problem is no longer there, showing it to buyer will assure him or her that the house is safe. Similarly, the flooding that took place in the portable garage in Lancaster City a decade ago when the previous owner moved in need not be disclosed as long as there wasn’t a recurrence when the current seller was living in that house. Many disclosure forms ask whether the incident happened within the last five years. Only those incidents need to be reported. 

So, how will the buyer know about the property being under airplane noise radar? This information is easy to find out with a quick look at the map of the locality. Airport noise is something a buyer is expected to know when the house is being shown. No disclosure necessary in this case. What about a problematic neighbor? Well, everyone in this country have the right to live in the property they like regardless of their personality. So, the seller doesn’t have to call the attention to that mean and nosy neighbor. 

How about the house being a crime scene on an October night in the 1980s. It is more likely that the house has gone through price reduction phases since it got sold after the murder, but unless the state says there is no need to disclose it. On a similar note, death by natural cause in the house need not be made aware of unless the state requires that the seller must. Last but not least, houses if they are close to less desirable areas, such as jail, cemetery and waste treatment plan should be disclosed only if the form says so. On the other hand, if the seller hears that any of these structures are coming up near the property in the future, it must …

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Prep Up The House Inside Out

Preparing your house for an upcoming sale is not an easy task. However, not planning ahead is time and effort lost in the form of dollars at the negotiating table. Buyers want to mentally imagine themselves living in the house, while you want to get the most out of this deal. So, here are some tips that might not have occurred to you before. 

You will want to start with a quick glance at the curb appeal of your house. Visit as many model homes as possible and compare it to the house that you are selling. What is appealing and what is jarring? What features or mistake caught your eye when you drove up the driveway? You may find that there is a lot that needs to be fixed. The trim may have to be repainted, door knobs fixed, and extra coat of paint on the walls can make the house shine as well. Sure, the first two may be minor things but it is something that will save you a couple of thousand dollars when negotiating with the buyer. 

The front door may be needing attention that it never got before due to your household’s everyday use of garage door to enter the house. A potential buyer will be standing for more than a few minutes there waiting for the door to open. He or she will notice everything from hanging old wreath on the door, to dusty porch lights, chipped paint, dying plants and anything that you wish they didn’t see. Now is the time to make sure things around the front area are in proper shape. Be sure the doorknobs work, scuff marks on the door are hidden, dead plants are replaced and porch lights are functional. Or maybe it is time to buy that retro outdoor furniture that you have been contemplating to buy since the house was purchased. And, while you are at it, don’t forget to give a fresh cleaning sweep to the driveway and walkway if they have been muddy or greasy from all the vehicles. 

Don’t neglect the garage or basement either. Buyers want to see the worth for the money they will be investing. Does your garage or basement look worse than the rest of the house? Is it being neglected in a way that it needs complete overhaul of junks that have been sitting there for quite a while? Do you want to upgrade to modular garage sheds? Is the basement scary in appearance, smelling like rotting moss or lacking air completely?

Now, you will have to look into all these details and make changes wherever needed. Arrange items in these two locations neatly against the wall and make it look clutter-free. Shelving things is a better option and can create an organized look that will appeal to your potential buyers. However, basement, unlike garage needs extra care. For instance, wet basements are a big turn-off for house hunters. It means there is a mysterious plumbing system breakage.…

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