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Should I disclose or disclaim property information?

paperworkPaperwork goes hand in hand with selling a Crofton home.

In addition to the listing agreement and sales contract, there are various forms required by federal, state, and local officials – not to mention others required the real estate broker who will represent you and MRIS, the regional multiple listing system.

One of the state-mandated forms for home sellers is the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement. Home owners have the option to either disclose or disclaim, but agents are not supposed to advise clients on what to do – it could be interpreted as giving legal advice and, after all, we are not attorneys.  So… how do you decide?

The only advice I can give is this: Both options are perfectly acceptable so do whichever makes you feel comfortable.

If you choose to disclose, please answer each question truthfully because the buyer, lender and real estate professionals will rely on this information. If you’re unsure about anything, “unknown” is an option for most of the questions.

If you choose to disclaim, please note that “latent defects” cannot be disclaimed… they must be identified. According to Wikipedia, “latent defect is a fault in the property that could not have been discovered by a reasonably thorough inspection before the sale.”

Since you can disclose or disclaim, there’s no reason to lose sleep over this choice.  Complete and sign one of them and move on to the next form. There are plenty more to do, and I’ll address some of them over the next few weeks.

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