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What To Know About The Real Estate Residential Property Disclosure Form

residential property disclosure form image

Residential Property Disclosure Form

Most residential homes when put up for sale must have a residential property disclosure form filled out disclosing the known conditions of the property. Many residential disclosure forms require the disclosing of not only conditions that are in existence now but also conditions that have happened in the past and have been repaired. Some state disclosure forms (like Ohio) set a limit of 5 years for reporting past issues, so if it happened 5 years or more prior and has been repaired you may not have to disclose it now. Always use the property disclosure form created by your state government as it will contain state specific items that forms from other states may not cover.

The property disclosure form is not a warranty or guarantee for the things disclosed. Instead it is simply notifying buyers of issues and then it is up to the buyers to decide whether they wish to purchase the home or not. Improper disclosure or lack of disclosure can result in a lawsuit where the seller may be forced to pay damages to the buyer or even worse the seller can be forced to take back the property and make the buyer whole monetarily.

Actual Knowledge Requirements in Disclosure

When filling out the property disclosure form you should answer based on your actual knowledge of the conditions in the home. What this means is that you personally know of an issue that is present or has happened in the past. So if your basement sump pump failed a year ago and the basement flooded as a result this would be required to be put on the property disclosure form. Now on the other hand if a neighbor mentioned that he had heard your house or perhaps a neighbor’s...

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections (Infographic)

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections

When selling your home there is a good chance that the buyer will request a home inspection. Having too many issues in the home inspection report could send up red flags to the buyer that causes them to back out of the deal. Many of the issues found in home inspections can be remedied beforehand so that the home inspection will turn up nothing but a clean check of the home and useful suggestions on various aspects of the home. Ideally getting your home inspected prior to listing it for sale is best since a home inspector will go through your home just as they would for a buyer and give you a list of all the issues they find. With that pre-listing inspection list you can repair those problem areas ahead of time so there is one less thing to cause your home sale to go bad.

Regardless of whether you decide to go the pre-listing inspection route or not there are some common issues found in home inspections that you should be aware of. By checking your home with regards to these common issues and making repairs before you list you are in better position to reach the closing table. Additionally you may end up saving yourself time and money since having to make repairs while under the deadline of a closing date means you may have to go with whoever is available and pay whatever price they charge since it has to be repaired.

Top Issues To Be On The Lookout For

1. Electrical

Electrical Issues are the number one issue to be on the lookout for as they are one of the most common problems...

Podcast #8: Real Estate and Family Law

Podcast 8 Family Law and Real Estate graphic

For this podcast Real Estate and Family Law I sat down with Michael McNeil, Attorney with Graydon Head Law Firm. During our conversation we discussed divorce and selling a home, prenuptial agreements, the effects of divorce on mortgage payments and more. This podcast is helpful for those wanting to sell their home and may be going through the process of divorce.  

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also consider sharing with those who may find it useful.

Listen via YouTube:

You can find Michael McNeil's Graydon Head Link Here.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+LinkedInYouTube and ...

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

20 Important Mortgage Terms To Know

Whether buying or selling a home it is important to know the terms that are being used when a mortgage is involved so you don't end up under water. First and foremost the professionals you are working with should be telling you what these terms mean and what is the cost for you for the type of mortgage you choose. If you are not getting the answers you need then you are better off looking for someone else to assist you in the process.

While these terms are not overly complicated, knowing them before you start your home sale or home purchase will save you some time. The early legwork in getting a pre-approval to know what you can afford or seeing what your mortgage payoff is so you know if you can pay off the mortgage upon sale are important steps. Mortgages are long term commitments that can affect your lifestyle for some time to come. By fully understanding the terms of your mortgage and the amounts you will be paying you will be in a better position in the long run.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A mortgage whose interest rate can adjust during the payback period based on market interest rates. ARM loans usually have limits on how much the interest rate can adjust per year and the maximum amount an interest rate can be adjusted to over the lifetime of the loan.


Is the paying off a debt (principal plus interest) in fixed payments over a set period of time. Often times you will be presented with an Amortization Schedule when you take out a loan. The Amortization Schedule details what part of each payment goes towards principal and what part goes towards interest.

Construction Mortgage

Typically a short term loan where...

Should I Use A Discount Broker To Sell My Home?

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Should I Use A Discount Broker To Sell My Home?

Now that you have prepared your home to sell with these great tips, you may be wondering what is the value of a regular real estate brokerage versus a discount brokerage. After all you can get great deals at your local big box store and save money rather than spending it on a more expensive version. While you can get a better deal at a big box discount store the question remains will you get a better value? The same applies with a traditional real estate brokerage versus a discount brokerage, you may be getting a better deal up front by saving on the commission but what is the long term cost to you in terms of your home selling price and help in getting to the closing table?

What a Discount Brokerage Can Provide

Discount brokerages vary in their business models. Some will offer more service for a slightly reduced commission, whereas others offer you nothing other than listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with a flat fee or large discount on commission. The amount of services they provide will also vary based on the business model those brokerages choose to follow.

Be on the lookout for any of these discount or deep discount brokerages that cut the commission paid to the buyer’s agent. In all fairness the buying and the selling agents should be getting an even 50/50 split commission. Discount brokerages that cut the buyer commission while keeping their own commission high are only hurting you as the home seller in the long run since there is less...

10 Ways To Avoid Being Sued In Real Estate

10 Ways To Avoid Being Sued In Real Estate

How To Avoid Being Sued During the Home Sale Process

Getting involved in a lawsuit is never a pleasant experience.  Often times the lawsuit process drags on for quite some time and can be very costly to boot.  Not many people set out with the intention of wanting to get sued, but often times by not following the advice of those professionals who are helping us or attempting to do things on our own can lead us down the path of getting sued.  With this article I am providing you with some tips and advice on how to avoid being sued in a real estate.  This is by no means intended to replace legal advice from your local attorney, but it should give you ideas of where the pitfalls are to help you better avoid them.

Tips For The Sellers

1. Disclosures

The biggest thing that can trip a seller up after a sale has closed will be the lack of making proper disclosures about hidden home defects.  With disclosures for residential property you as the seller are required to inform potential buyers of any defects that you know about and are not readily visible.  An example of a defect that must be disclosed is where a basement leaks whenever it rains but on most clear and sunny days it may look fine or the effects of the leak have been cleaned up.  The failure to disclose to a buyer that the basement has leaks can result in the buyer suing the seller for lack of disclosure.

If the issue with the home is noticeable then there is no duty to disclose.  So for example in the leaking basement case if there was a huge crack in the wall that is readily visible to anyone who walks by the disclosure need not necessarily be made.  You as the seller should still be cautious when filling out government...

Podcast #2 Topic: Insurance

Podcast 3 Insurance


For this podcast I sat down with Rey Rivera, Sales Manager with Allstate Insurance.  During our conversation we discussed homeowners, condominium, and rental insurance, as well as umbrella policies and rider policies.  If you want to learn more about insurance and how it can protect and benefit you this podcast is for you.  I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please also share with those who may find it useful.

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Watch (listen) on YouTube

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Feel free to ask any questions via the comments section below or to email either Rey or myself.  Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to see let me know!

You can connect with Rey on Facebook and LinkedIn.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+...

How To Prevent A Home Closing Failure

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How to Prevent a Home Closing Catastrophe.

Having a good negotiator in your corner always helps both sellers and buyers work effectively through the home sale process and limits the possibility of a home closing failure. Issues sometimes arise that can derail a home sale, so it helps to have insights as to where you as a buyer or the seller have the ability to keep things on track through individual effort. While good negotiation skills are a must, understanding your role in the process can also help prevent a home sale catastrophe.

For the Seller

So you have found a buyer who appears ready willing and able to buy your home and they have committed to buying your home by submitting an offer along with proof of mortgage pre-approval and earnest money. How do you make sure you get to the closing table and not let the deal fall apart? Read on to get the answers.

Home Inspection

From the get go you as the seller should be open with letting the home buyers inspector come into your home for the inspection process. You or your agent should be present during the home inspection in case you need to answer any questions. Any resistance to the home inspection process and you run the risk of raising red flags with the buyer and their agent. Yes there may be problems with the house but covering them up will not be helpful in trying to get to closing. By being upfront with issues and being ready to remedy issues that do come up during inspection your home sale will go smoothly.

When request for repairs are made by the buyer make every attempt to complete the repairs in a timely manner so the buyer has time to check the repairs prior to closing. If the repairs are not made prior to closing...

21 Real Estate Terms You Should Be Familiar With

21 Important Real Estate Terms To KnowImportant Real Estate Terms To Know

All too often when buying or selling a home we run across a number of different real estate terms that we don't usually encounter in our day to day lives.  In this post I define/explain many of the common terms you will come across during a real estate transaction.


An appraisal is the process of evaluating a piece real estate (can be a residential, commercial or industrial building built on land) and all it's features to come up with a value of that property.  An appraisal is normally performed by a professional appraiser who is trained to provide their opinion as to the value of the real estate and its building.  The appraisal report an Appraiser provides is normally used by banks for purposes of determining how much money they will lend for a person to buy the property.  If the value of the real estate is appraised lower than the amount requested for a loan to purchase the property then the buyer will have to come up with more money out of their own pocket, the seller can reduce the selling price or depending on the terms of the contract the deal can be cancelled.

An appraisal report can also be used by an insurance company to determine premiums and reimbursement cost in cases of building damage or destruction.

For more information on Appraisals and the Appraisal process visit the blog post "How the Appraisal Works in the Home Buying Process" by Shannon Slater.

Back-Up Offer

A back-up offer on a real estate property is an offer that will only be considered if the offer that is pending at the moment falls through.  The primary offer can fall through for...

Podcast #1 Topic: Home Inspections

Home Inspection podcastHome Inspections

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Ohio Home Inspector Todd Engle of Good Eye Inspections and chat with him about the home inspection process.  Todd has over 14 years of experience in the real estate industry and obtained his InterNACHI certification to show his commitment to the home inspection field.  During my podcast conversation with Todd we discussed a variety of topics including pre-sale home inspections, common problems uncovered during inspection, ways to prepare for a home inspection, new construction inspection and more.  I hope you enjoy and find the podcast informative.  Please share with those who may also find it useful.

Watch (listen) on YouTube

Feel free to ask a question via the comments section or to email either Todd or myself.  Also if you have any ideas for future podcast topics you would like to learn about let me know!

You can follow Todd on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

You can follow me on FacebookPinterest...

When Should You Hire a Real Estate Attorney?

When should you hire a real estate attorney?

Legal experts

Attorneys are legal experts in a variety of matters.  Just like the medical profession attorneys are educated and trained to work in a variety of areas of the law.  While there are general attorneys who handle assorted matters, a specialized attorney should be consulted for matters where expertise is needed.  So then it should be asked when should you hire a real estate attorney?

The real estate process of buying and selling a home often times run very smoothly.  This is especially more so when you have professionals like realtors, home inspectors, and closing companies involved in the mix.  Often times large real estate brokerages for which realtors work for have their own in house legal counsel that they can goto to get assistance for legal matters.  Many small real estate brokerages maintain relationships with local attorneys and also have resources at the state and local levels to get help when they need it.  Closing and Title companies often times are owned by the same attorneys who do the title work.  But there are times when it is in your best interest to have an attorney of your own representing your interests.  When you hire an attorney to help you out in a matter they will only be helping you out and should not have a conflicting interest based on their code of ethics.

Selling FSBO

One of the most common areas where a person may want to hire a real estate attorney is when dealing with a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property.  You as the seller of a FSBO property may wish to have a real estate attorney look over any offers to purchase and to walk you through the process of selling your home in order to minimize your liability to buyers.  As with selling any piece...

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