Disclose, disclose, disclose

Am doing a bunch of deals right now and keep running into the same problem: Buyers Sellers being slow to disclose issues with their properties. Bluntly, this is stupid.

I’m not a lawyer, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that, by not disclosing problems with your property during the sale process, you are exposing yourself to all kinds of liability. Why? Because the buyer can turn around and sue you for fraud.

The remedies available to the court include everything from forcing you to pay to fix whatever problems you hid all the way to forcing you to take the property back and give the buyer his money back (even if you’ve already spent it). Ouch.

The standard residential income purchase agreement is set up to give the buyer a chance to investigate the property. As a seller, it’s in your interest to give the buyer as much information during that time as you possibly can. Let him inspect the hell out of the property. Give him all the docs. Tell him about problems in writing. Answer questions in writing. Be totally, 100% transparent.

The downside to all this disclosure is that the buyer may decide not to buy the property or ask for a price reduction. But those are definitely NOT the worst things that can happen. The worst thing is that you end up wrapped up in a long, expensive lawsuit that ruins your life for years.

When you sell, you want to be able to walk away from the closed transaction with your money AND be able to sleep soundly at night. The only way to do that is to disclose, disclose, disclose.