Is Location really the only important thing in real estate? You’ve all heard the maxim: the most important three things in real estate: location-location -location. Why? because it’s something that can’t be changed and it’s something that affects the value. It seems easy since location is pretty obvious. But what about facts that aren’t so obvious? That’s where the other three words come into being: Disclose-Disclose-Disclose. It’s important for the same reasons. It’s something that can’t be changed and it can really affect the value. But unlike location, which is obvious to the buyer, disclosure is something that might not be evident to the buyer. If it’s not brought out into the open during the selling process, it can have some pretty major consequences after the close of Escrow. Usually it concerns something that happened that is no longer visible but which needs to be made known: for instance: during a recent heavy rain storm a section of the garage flooded. Or the septic system was pumped 5 times during the last 12 months. But what about something that will be happening in the future? Maybe it’s something Like the City has plans to put in a freeway nearby or school is coming to the neighborhood. Or the neighbor is planning a big remodel to their home. There might be a lot of noise and it could potentially block the view. Did you know that the Seller and their agent need to disclosure hear-say, as well as facts. What does this mean? Hear-say can just be a passing comment from a neighbor, relative or disgruntled someone. But once it’s heard, it has to be disclosed, the source attributed and then then disclaimed as not having been verified or confirmed. A recent Court case that resulted in the rescission of the sale of a home brings home this point: A property was sold to buyers who were informed shortly after closing by the neighbors next door that they had plans for an extensive remodel of their home, which would expand the neighbor’s property and permanently block the west facing view from the buyer’s new home. The remodel would also take two years to complete. This information had not been told to the buyers although it had been told to the agent and presumably was known by the sellers. The buyer filed for arbitration to rescind the sale and won. In addition, the arbitrator awarded the buyer more than $1 million for legal fees, costs and interest.” The case continued on to the Appeals Court, and the Appeal was overturned so the case will go back to Court , maybe in two years….. Email me if you’d like a more detailed summary and the full case as provided by Steve Sorrell.