Sellers, Don’t Get Sued!
This weekend I showed properties in and around Brookfield in Waukesha County and Middleton in Dane County. While these places are worlds away from each other, I saw the same problems in each municipality.
Sellers are putting themselves at risk of getting sued.
I recognize that sellers just want to sell their home, but what use is selling if you end up in court after the sale? Let’s talk about Wisconsin’s Real Estate Condition Report (RECR). This report is not a warranty. Its purpose is for the seller disclose known issues with their property.
Full and complete Real Estate Condition Reports offer two great advantages to sellers. First, buyers cannot back out of a deal for issues they previously knew about. Wisconsin real estate practice only allows buyers to back out of deals over undisclosed condition issues. Second, buyers cannot legally come after sellers later for failure to disclose issues. It’s hard for buyers to claim they were duped when they signed a document disclosing a problem.
The smartest sellers let a home inspector do the disclosure on their behalf through a pre-listing inspection. Pre-listing inspections are home inspections done before the property goes on market. Sellers with these reports have two options. The first option is to present the report and sell the home without making any repairs. The second option is to make whatever repairs they feel are appropriate, have the inspector amend the report, and then disclose all remaining items. Pre-listing inspections are especially powerful tools. Disclosed pre-listing inspection reports prevent buyers from backing out for any disclosed reason. They let the seller do repairs their way and in their own time versus on the buyer’s timeline. Best of all, they shift the disclosure legal burden from the seller to the inspector.
Do you have questions about listing a property for sale? My name is Mike Kwiatkowski and I am a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Brookfield, WI. You can always reach out to me to discuss any issues you may have. I look forward to helping you with your sale!