As you get ready to sell your Scottsdale home, it’s a good idea to get to know what the disclosure statement is and what it entails, because Arizona requires sellers to fill one out. In short, this document will tell the buyer some important information about the Scottsdale home you are selling. But what exactly does it need to include, and what can be left out?
Here are the facts on disclosure statements in Arizona:
What affects your home’s value?
One of the disclosure basics involves letting the buyer know any facts that could negatively affect the value of the home. This mostly refers to major issues. For example, if the foundation is cracked, the roof needs to be replaced, the house has water damage, or there are termites on the property, you need to disclose these problems. That’s because they can be expensive to fix and can lead to even bigger problems if they are ignored, so buyers need to know about them.
Note that just because you have to tell buyers about these problems does not necessarily mean you will need to fix them prior to selling your Scottsdale home. If you and your buyer are in a hurry to close the deal, you can work with your Realtor and the buyer to negotiate the price of the home so he or she can pay for the repairs after taking possession of the house.
What other information do you need to include?
The disclosure statement also needs to mention the name of the homeowner, as well as what utility companies serve the area. Information involving the surrounding environment is important, as well. For example, if the soil is known to be contaminated or the air quality is low, this should be noted on the statement.
If your Scottsdale home was built before 1978, you need to mention in the disclosure statement that there’s a possibility of lead-based paint in the house. If you’re not sure if there is, give the buyer ten days to test for it. Your Realtor will also need to give the buyer a pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.”
What does not need to be in the disclosure statement?
You do not need to mention small issues with the house that do not affect property value. For instance, if the hardwood floor has some scratches or the tile has some cracks, you don’t need to include those details in the disclosure statement. Buyers can usually see those issues anyway and will probably mention them if they are important to them.
In addition, you do not need to disclose any details that you do not know about. This means you are not required to get your property inspection done before you sell your Scottsdale home. Buyers’ agents initiate and pay for an inspection once your home is under contract, during which time they will be made aware of any issues with the house. If the buyers ask you about any problems and you truly don’t know the answer, you can simply say you don’t know, even on your Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement, or SPDS.
One piece of information that matters to some buyers is whether a death ever took place in the home. By law, Arizona sellers do not have to disclose whether a death or crime of any type took place on the property. However, if a buyer specifically asks about this, you do need to answer to the best of your knowledge.
Of course, your qualified Realtor will help with the entire disclosure process. If you have any questions about the disclosure statement or other steps involved with buying and selling a home in the Valley of the Sun, contact The Matheson Team today.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255