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Seller's Disclosure: Has the Home Ever Flooded?

 

Seller's Disclosure: Has the Home Ever Flooded?

 

 

Seller's Disclosures: Has the Home Ever Flooded?

 

The question is: Has the home EVER flooded?

 

The question is NOT: Did the home flood while you owned it?

 

TRUST me! Your neighbors will be telling the new buyers ALL about the time your house flooded WAY BACK WHEN. If you think no one is still around that remembers it -- you are wrong.

 

While I am no attorney, I would be willing to bet that ignorance will not help you in a court of law. When the attorney asks you, "Has the home at 123 LAKE STREET ever flooded?", and you reply, "Not while I owned it." , they are just going to say, "I didn't ask you if it flooded when you owned it. I asked you IF the home has ever flooded."

 

Then they are going to bring in the agent who showed you the home, the agent who sold you the home, the previous owners, and anyone/anything else they can find to determine whether or not you had been told about the home flooding when YOU purchased it.

 

If it is exposed that you DID know that the home had flooded, and did not disclose it to you potential buyers... Wouldn't you expect the court to find on behalf of your buyer? I would think it would cost you BIG BUCKS! Probably much, MUCH more than you would have lost on the value of your home because it was disclosed that it had flooded before. 

  

So whether the question is "Has the home ever flooded?" or ANYTHING else.....

 

ALWAYS tell the truth,

the whole truth,

and nothing but the truth!

 

 

Seller's Disclosure: Has the Home Ever Flooded?

 

 

 

This has been brought to you by Joni Bailey, YOUR Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area real estate professional. Before you buy or sell, call Joni Bailey at (936) 650-9017. I look forward to earning your business and exceeding your expectations. 

 

 

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Comment balloon 36 commentsJoni Bailey • September 23 2013 01:18PM

Comments

AMEN. Flooding and all it's consequences, such as mold, is serious business.

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) about 6 years ago

It is important that the sellers answer the questions on the disclosure truthfully.  

Posted by Rekha Vyas (Keller Williams Realty of Brevard) about 6 years ago

Joni, flooding, even if there was remedy MUST be disclosed. Some buyers may not purchase a home that flooded in the past, even if damages were repaired. You're so right, neighbors will tell!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 6 years ago

Good morning Joni,

You are exactly right..if you know it you disclose it!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 6 years ago

Joanna: Right on! TELL THE TRUTH! The WHOLE truth. And NOTHING but THE TRUTH!

Rekha: Absolutely! And carefully!!

Beth: Yes they will!! Even if it happened 30 years ago!!

Dorie: Yes ma'am!! 

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Disclose... Disclose... Disclose and rest well at night!

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 6 years ago

Q: Amen!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Joni, 

Sellers Disclosure is always better to come clean about any issue and especially flooding. Some folks think they can lie their way out of any situation. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) about 6 years ago

Joni, knew of an attorney(seller) who did not disclose the flooding in his home!  Sure enough the buyer found out from the neighbor....attorney had to cough up some cash.  Not my client, thank goodness. 

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) about 6 years ago

Joni, if you have knowledge of something that may have been a problem and are asked about it, you must disclose...end of story.  There are a lot of sorry sellers out there that thought they could stretch the truth or flat out lie when asked "if they had knowledge". 

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) about 6 years ago

Joni,

 I am not sure why you had to write a blog like this oh yes that is correct not everyone discloses all! I hope you are having a good start to your week!

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert about 6 years ago

One of the most uncomfortable moments is when the seller quietly confides something to you that must be disclosed but now that the cat is out of the bag the backpedaling begins.  That is when I wonder if I even want the listing.  Who knows what else is hiding under the rug?

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) about 6 years ago

Joni-I totally agree and as the saying goes. Honesty is the BEST policy

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 6 years ago

Joni, it never pays to lie or be evasive.  It only makes others more suspicious and not trust anything you have to say, not to mention the legal problems it can cause as well.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 6 years ago

Bob: I don't think that they realize that EVEN if it happened a zillion years ago, before they lived there, they still have to give the informtion to their potential buyers. THEY wanted to know when THEY bought it, Why wouldn't others folks want to know when THEY buy it?

Kathy: OH. MY. GOSH! Unbelieveable!!

Nick: My advise is if you KNOW, DISCLOSE, even if you are not asked!

Yolanda: So that sellers know to disclose and buyers know to ASK!

Marnie: Even when it is an oversight, it makes the buyer VERY uncomfortable!! If it were my seller, you can bet you boots they would be amending the seller's disclosure RIGHT THEN!

Sharon: ALWAYS!!

George: Exactly. And why wouldn't it? The legal consequences could be HUGE!!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Ahh, you point to a very important distinction -- the tendency for some to make a lie of omission!  have a super night -- Eric

Posted by Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®, Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona (DPR Realty LLC) about 6 years ago

I go with the mantra "when in doubt disclose"  of course not all agree.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

Eric: It kind of reminds you of sins of omission, doesn't it, brother?! :)  Me too!!

Joan: I agree! Wholeheartedly!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Sellers can't possibly think they can get away with covering something like that up, can they? Of course they can.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 6 years ago

Interesting post and nice play on words. I was going one direction until you turned the tables on me.

Nice redirect and good thought provoker

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) about 6 years ago

Interesting. I have never thought of it but knowledge about the home is the question...not knowledge about the home while you owned it!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 6 years ago

I believe in a court they would ask for proof such as past evidence and that is the key word (evidence) of the flood.  If there is no evidence there is no case. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 6 years ago

Debbie: They may not see the need since it didn't occur when they owned it. This was written to help seller's understand the liability of disclosing ALWAYS!

Thanks, David!

Gary: Has the home ever flooded? The seller KNEW that the home had flooded. The person he bought it from had told him. No excuse.

James: Without going into details. There is proof that the seller actually KNOWS that the house had previously flooded. 

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

My buyers are dealing with non-disclosure right now.  The sellers disclosed lake waters breached the sea wall in 2004 (a bad hurricane season for Florida).  Two months after closing, the flood insurance carried notifies the buyers of two prior flood claims, the 2004 claim and a $27,000 claim in 2009 that was not disclosed. 

Sellers and agents must practice full disclosure all the time.  It will come back to haunt you.

Posted by Dee Toohey, Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro (Innovative Realty Solutions Group) about 6 years ago

Disclosure is key and really, why hide it. Everyone will tell the new owners anyway.

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) about 6 years ago

100 year storms happen... hopefully not while your name is on the deed and hope the kids are good swimmers. Can hold their breath until help comes, arrives when the flood waters rise. And not everyone including the dog and the cat are up on the roof, floating down stream. With all the other friends and neighbors in the surrounding flood plain.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 6 years ago

Dee: YES IT WILL!

Toni: EXACTLY!!

Andrew: I have seen things like that on the news. VERY scary.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Hot topic with all of the flooding in Colorado, and the Chicago areas.  You just have to disclose, disclose, disclose.

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com) about 6 years ago

Secrets have a way of surfacing...eventually.  I've had potential sellers actually say, "don't look too close" when previewing their property before taking the listing. So they trust me to handle their listing and sale, but don't want me to be aware of a possible flaw because they know I will disclose it.  Interesting situation: they trust me but I'd better not trust them.  How could that ever work? This takes seller disclosure to a new level.

Posted by Jean Jannopoulo, Robert Slack LLC (Love where you live) about 6 years ago

Excellent point!  That goes for everything on that disclosure.  Around my area, everyone really does know everyone, and I can guarantee the plumber the new buyers call will be oh so happy to fill them in on the last time they were at the home.  Here in Maine, ours reads a little different and includes ANY moisture or knowledge of any previous moisture in the basement.  It is so much easier to disclose and list any repairs.

Posted by Kristen Wheatley, Supporting Success - Best Job in the World! (Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

Joni, the very first "rule" I learned in real estate school - when in doubt, disclose.  Saying the previous owners disclosed to me there had been a flood but I didn't have any problems in the 3 years I've lived here would have been the appropriate response.  Disclose, Disclose, Disclose - the best way to CYA!!!!

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) about 6 years ago

Hi Joni-BIG dif between "not since I've owned it" and never. You are right about the buzzy neighbors too!

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) about 6 years ago

HI Joni,  Excellent, excellent post!  Maybe it will cause sellers to think twice before they answer that question!

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) about 6 years ago

Tanya: That's right! You HAVE to!!

Jean: Sounds like the kind of listing that you don't want to take! :)

Kristen: Exactly!! I goes for EVERYTHING!!

Juli: Tell the new buyers what the old buyers told you. That's it! Easy as pie!

Marco: Seriously!! People can't WAIT to tell you that your house flooded!! It's almost as if they HOPE you were not told!!

Ricki: Thank you! That was exactly the purpose of this blog post!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) about 6 years ago

Joni, never thought of this question that way 'ever flooded'! Interesting - and I hope sellers may still say that they are not aware of except for the time period they owned it.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 6 years ago

So, my home flooded in April. I don't have flood insurance. This is devastating! It was not required by the bank that we get flood insurance and the prior owners stated on the. Interact that the home had never flooded. Since the flood, a couple of long time residents have told me that it has flooded in the past. What can you do?? Is the realty company responsible in any way?

Posted by Jennifer Shields over 2 years ago

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