AUGUST 2021 | WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE?
» All about disclosures
» We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak
» Best cities for state fair enthusiasts
All about disclosures
Disclosure is key to the house selling process. While the form may seem overly long and confusing, filling it out right is important. Failure to disclose some problems or entering false information can leave you open to a lawsuit, even after closing.
Federal, state and local
You must obey federal, state and local laws for disclosures. There aren’t many federal requirements, but one very significant one is lead paint disclosure. If your home was built before 1978, you must disclose any known lead paint in the house and provide potential buyers with an EPA pamphlet. As for state and local laws, these vary across the country. Common disclosure requirements include:
- Pest infestations
- Water infiltration
- Smoke damage
- Structural problems
- Environmental hazards
- Death in the home
Put it in writing
Disclosures must be in writing for potential buyers. Verbal disclosures, no matter how thorough, don’t count.
Patent vs. Latent
When filling out a disclosure form, you may see the terms patent and latent. A patent defect is visible and usually doesn’t need to be disclosed, while a latent defect is hidden and should be disclosed.
What if it’s been fixed?
In most cases, even if you’ve completely remediated the problem, you still need to disclose it as part of the house’s history.
REALTORS® to the rescue
With a qualified local REALTOR® , you’re much less likely to make a mistake during the disclosure process. They can help you identify what needs to be disclosed, when it’s appropriate to say that you simply don’t know, and more.
We may finally be reaching this seller’s market peak
With houses flying off the market, bidding wars, and supply shortages pausing new construction, house shopping can’t get much crazier. For months, there’s been no sign of things easing up. But now, at long last, there are some signs of calmer days ahead.
By the numbers
Median home prices remain at a record high, and inventory continues to be low nationally. So buyers currently in the middle of a house hunt aren’t feeling much relief yet. However, other numbers are looking a little less white hot.
Since peaking in January, the number of existing home sales has been falling over the past four months. At the same time, data from Redfin shows that housing inventory across six major metro areas has stabilized, albeit at the previously mentioned low levels. Their data also indicates more sellers are lowering their price, a good sign that demand is genuinely beginning to slow.
Still a ways to go
Even if we have passed the peak of this market boom, some experts don’t foresee a quick decline. The return to normal is likely to come slowly over the next year or more. So if you’re holding out for significantly lower house prices, you’re going to have to be patient.
Best cities for state fair enthusiasts
Want to live close to the party? These cities are home to the biggest state fairs in the U.S.:
1. Syracuse, NY – 1.2 million visitors
2. West Springfield, MA – 1.5 million visitors
3. St. Paul, MN – 2 million visitors
4. Dallas, TX – 2.25 million visitors