The seller’s disclosure is a 5 page document that almost all sellers (a few exceptions exist) are required to fill out and present it to the buyer within a specified time-frame when you are selling your home. It asks pertinent questions about the functionality of the home, the structural integrity, and it also requires a disclosure of previous flooding, major repairs, and past insurance claims, if any. It has to be filled out by the seller, to the best of their knowledge. The general idea is to give the buyer full disclosure about the property so they can make an informed and intelligent decision. Why is this important? Two main reasons: because it’s one of the first forms that a buyer will ask for if they are interested in your home and it’s a legal document that you’ll be held liable for.
I’m not trying to scare you. I just want you to understand the importance of it. This protects you by showing that you disclosed everything the form asked of you and it helps the buyer feel more comfortable about the underlying condition. From the buyer’s perspective they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to knowledge of the home. There’s no question that the owner of the home has inside information about the property that a buyer may never discover, or, discover it too late (after closing). It has a wealth of information on it that buyers want to see.
The best preparation you can do is to get a copy of this document (you can email me for it) and start looking it over. This will get you familiar with the questions and kind of information you’ll need to gather. You can’t do this too early. I actually make it part of my paperwork in the very beginning when working with a seller so I can disclose it to buyers as soon as possible. It’s much better to prepare for this months in advance instead of waiting until the last minute.