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What Do I Need to Disclose?

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What Do I Need to Disclose?
By: Myrl Jeffcoat - April 17th 2008

What Do I Need to Disclose?

Often, when GreatWest GMAC Real Estate professionals sit down with a Seller, the Seller will ask – “What do I need to disclose, when selling my house?”

Or – they will be more specific, “Must I disclose the real reason I’m selling my home is because of noisy and obnoxious neighbors?” 

One Seller questioned a GreatWest GMAC Real Estate professional, about a ghost or two, which were “residing” in the home, and wanted to know whether this needed to be disclosed.

In California, we are a long way from a couple decades ago, when Residential Purchase Agreements were one page, with no disclosures.  We now have home-sale disclosure laws requiring Sellers to reveal issues or problems, which have a material affect on the market value or desirability of a residence.

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It is important that Sellers disclose any neighbors, which are noisy and obnoxious.  There is a case, which the California Court of Appeal granted rescission and refund of the buyer's money because of the seller's failure to disclose the neighborhood nuisance. The case is Shapiro v. Sutherland (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 666.

But, it is also important to understand that certain things considered obnoxious, to you as a Seller, many be somewhat attractive to a potential buyer - for instance, the ghost(s) one particular Seller was concerned about.  In the California Mother Lode, there are a least two inns, which come to mind, considered (or at least advertised) as haunted.  It seems “ghostly” presence, can occasionally be seen as having value.

To summarize, in addition to the usual issues coming to mind in disclosure – the faulty plumbing, the electrical outlet that doesn’t function, the smoke that billows out of the fireplace into the house, because the chimney needs to be swept, needs to be disclosed.  Better yet, if it costs a few dollars to fix the defect or issue, than by all means, repair it.  It will likely pay dividends in a home sale.

Full disclosure of all construction defects of the home, as well as neighborhood nuisances, and issues are very important.  Full disclosure is beneficial to Sellers as well as Buyers, because to not disclose, can become costly; particularly, when an issue hasn’t been addressed, and finds it’s way into litigation, haunting you like a ghost or two.


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If you have more questions about what needs to be disclosed, be certain to ask your GreatWest GMAC Real Estate Professional.  We will be happy to discuss in more detail, the issues of your particular property which need to be disclosed.


If you are currently considering selling or marketing a home, please feel free to call or contact me. I can provide a free, no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis of your property. . .Or if you are thinking of buying a home, I would be pleased to be given the opportunity to sit and explore with you the opportunities that await homebuyers at the present time.

Service is always
a priority

Myrl Jeffcoat

Local Realtor since 1981

Phone: 916.635.0420

E-Mail Myrl

Sacramento - El Dorado -  Placer Counties

Date: April 17th 2008