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Selling 101: What Do I Need To Disclose?

Sellers Disclosure

What do I need to disclose to potential buyers? In Minnesota, there are certain requirements of things that you need to disclose, by State Law. These items include whether you know of a well, if you have a subsurface sewage treatment system, or a valuation exclusion on tax treatment, if there has been meth production in the home, whether or not you know of any human remains, burials, or cemeteries, or if there have been any radon tests, and the like. Besides these required items, it is prudent to disclose as much as you can about your house.

We have a 12 page form that covers the gamut of things from things in the basement, to the condition of appliances, etc. If you know it, you should disclose it. The second part of real estate (just after location, location, location) is disclose, disclose, disclose.

How far back should I go

Agents get asked this question all the time. The best answer is "all the way back." If you can state "in 1992 we had a roof leak, in the valley on the east side, the roof has been replaced, and the interior damage was fixed by a professional contractor, and we have had no problems since," you can see that a buyer may feel at ease with this kind of disclosure. This sometimes becomes a problem with houses that have been within the family for decades. 40 years is a long time to remember what happened and when. In these cases, the best that you can remember should be sufficient. "Sometime in the 50's we had a big storm come through and we had water in the basement, we added some grading around the house, and it hasn't happened since." These kinds of statements are good, where you state the problem, state the solution, and that you've been trouble free since.

What if there are current defects

If you have current defects, you should repair them if possible. If this is not financially feasible, then disclose the problem so that the buyer is aware of it before they make their offer. If it is on the form, and they signed that they have received a copy of it, it is much harder for them to come after you later when they have problems.

Additional Resources

REALTOR.com Basic Rules of Sellers Disclosure

Steven Hong - RE/MAX Results 
REALTOR, e-PRO, GREEN, Old Home Certified 
7700 France Ave S #230, Edina, MN, 55435 
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952-915-2252 (office)
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