Seller Resources - Articles

Selling Your Home - Disclosure

Whose obligation is it to disclose pertinent information about a property?
In South Carolina the seller who must disclose all material facts and latent defects of the property. Under the strictest laws, you and your agent are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property which are known or accessible only to you. This might include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as a dog that barks every night or poor TV reception; any death within three years on the property; and any restrictions on the use of the property, such as zoning ordinances or association rules.

What are the standard contingencies?
Most purchase offers include two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the sale dependent on the buyers' ability to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows buyers to have professionals inspect the property to their satisfaction.  Also a buyer and seller could agree on a DUE DILIGENCE arrangement which would allow the buyer to end the contract for any reason. There are costs associated with this special privilege. The purchase contract must include the sellers responsibilities, such things as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property. Orangeburg Homes provides the South Carolina Purchase agreement which addresses all facets of contract contingencies.

Do I need an attorney when I buy a house?
In South Carolina the law requires that all real estate transactions be attended by an attorney. The buyer chooses the attorney unless the seller agrees to pay buyer's closing costs which could include legal fees.

What repairs should the seller make?
If you want to get top dollar for your property, you probably need to make all minor repairs and selected major repairs before going on the market. Nearly all purchase contracts include an inspection clause which allows the home buyer the right to have a home inspected by a licensed and bonded home inspector.

Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers. In fact the law protects the confidentiality of offers made by buyers and counter-offers made by sellers.

How do I get the real scoop on homes I am looking at?
Home inspections, seller disclosure requirements and the agent's experience will help. South Carolina law requires the seller to complete a SELLER PROPERTY DISCLOSURE and the buyer is entitled to have a copy before making an offer.real estate transfer disclosure statement. Here is a summary of the things you could expect to see in a disclosure form:
* In the kitchen -- a range, oven, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor.
* Safety features such as burglar and fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, security gate, window screens and intercom.
* The presence of a TV antenna or satellite dish, carport or garage, automatic garage door opener, rain gutters, sump pump.
* Amenities such as a pool or spa, patio or deck, built-in barbeque and fireplaces.
* Type of heating, condition of electrical wiring, gas supply and presence of any external power source, such as solar panels.
* The type of water heater, water supply, sewer system or septic tank also should be disclosed.

Sellers also are required to indicate any significant defects or malfunctions existing in the home's major systems. A checklist specifies interior and exterior walls, ceilings, roof, insulation, windows, fences, driveway, sidewalks, floors, doors, foundation, as well as the electrical and plumbing systems. The form also asks sellers to note the presence of environmental hazards, walls or fences shared with adjoining landowners, any encroachments or easements, room additions or repairs made without the necessary permits or not in compliance with building codes, zoning violations, citations against the property and lawsuits against the seller affecting the property. Also look for, or ask about, settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems and any major damage resulting from earthquakes, floods or landslides.

People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions or other deed restrictions. It's important to note that the simple idea of disclosing defects has broadened significantly in recent years. Many jurisdictions have their own mandated disclosure forms as do many brokers and agents. Also, the home inspection and home warranty industries have grown significantly to accommodate increased demand from cautious buyers. Be sure to ask questions about anything that remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.

Century 21 The Moore Group

John Kneece

Broker

1480 Sims StreetOrangeburgSC29115
Cell:(803) 378-5208
Business:(803) 378-5208
Fax:(803) 535-6235
License #:16585

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