Smooth Selling (2 of 4 in a series)

 “What is all this paperwork?”  Continued from last month, a Seller can minimize a lot of the stress by preparing reports, disclosures and inspections ahead, rather than waiting until a Buyer is involved. The more prepared you are the smoother the sale will be.  Last month we reviewed the first 4 items; this month we will review 5-15.

  1. Features list - While this is not required, when you are thinking of selling, it is good to keep a notepad somewhere and begin to list special, unusual or unnoticed items about your property. Sometimes you don’t know a benefit until you live in a property. Think about and list these features.  Buyers appreciate this.
  2. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - This is a spectacular tool.  Accurate and complete information provided and input into MLS, will result in more showings and offers. If your room sizes are particularly large or small, list the size.  The MLS profile sheet has restricted entries, this is why it is often helpful to also make a features list in addition that can be at the property on the back of the flyer.
  3. Agency Disclosure  - This disclosure defines who can represent whom.  It is a mandated disclosure that must be signed before any contractual agreements, i.e. such as before a listing agreement or a sales contract is presented or signed.  As the client, it is your choice as to how you will be represented and by whom. You can read more about this subject in the December 2000 CoastViews Issue: Who Represents You in Real Estate? It's your choice!
  4. Seller’s Disclosure Advisory - This describes a Seller’s obligations to disclose what you know about your property.  I always say, “If in doubt, spell it out.”  A good rule of thumb is that if a matter comes to your mind, you probably need to disclose it.  I have never heard of a lawsuit over too much disclosed, however most of us have heard of someone who was sued due to lack of disclosure.  Few people like surprises; be complete.
  5. Real Estate Office Disclosures - Most individual real estate offices have an advisory or disclosures about affiliations or recommendations of their particular office or company.
  6. AS IS Disclaimer/Hold Harmless - A Seller is bound to disclose whatever they know about their property even if it is sold “AS IS”.  This document defines obligations and liabilities when a Seller wants to disclose and sell without doing repairs or corrections and/or when they don’t know of anything that needs repair, but don’t want to do any work if a Buyer discovers any additional corrective work during their inspections. 
  7. Coastside Communities Information Addendum (CCIA) - This disclosure covers the specific idiosyncrasies of the Coastside – an entire article is devoted to this in the September 1999 CoastViews Issue: Information on Coastside Communities .
  8. Half Moon Bay Airport Map, Noise Abatement Procedures, Land Use Average Sound levels.  These are usually attachments to the CCIA above and give more detail on our local airport and it’s impact on the surrounding communities.
  9. Non- Foreign Seller Affidavit (Firpta) – A Seller’s tax liability can filter through to the Buyer if the Seller does not have a tax paying I D number.  The Seller is required to advise the Buyer of their Tax I D number.
  10. Smoke Detector Certification - There are requirements for the placement of smoke detectors, both in which rooms and where in the rooms smoke detectors must be placed.
  11. Water Heater Certification - Hot water heaters must be strapped and attached in a specific way.  This requirement has changed 3 times over the last 10 years.  What was adequate when you purchased your home may not be when you sell your home.

We are now halfway though the list of common disclosures, reports, and information Sellers provide for Buyers.  More next month!