Disclosure documents in real estate are no small matter. They require you as the seller to list any known issues with the property and work you’ve done to fix or improve it. The disclosure process does not exist only to protect the buyer — they’re for the sellers as well and ultimately inform and protect everyone involved in a real estate transaction. Read on to learn what you need to know about disclosures when selling your home in Hawaii.
If you’re selling a house in Hawaii (or buying one), you’ll have to fill out a standard disclosure form. While this document provides your buyer with a statement of your current property knowledge, the disclosure form does not replace the traditional real estate professional home inspection — you should still expect the buyers to have this done (usually on their dime). When the buyers receive the disclosure, they will review the information at the same time they will be ordering their inspection of the property; this way they can have the inspector focus on issues that may be of greater concern (roof, plumbing, foundation, etc.). Are the systems in the home functioning correctly, such as the A/C units?
You should also disclose any pest or termite infestations (common in Hawaii) or mold, any renovations completed without permitting, repairs, or insurance claims. Additionally, you should report any environmental hazards which could affect the property or upcoming changes nearby that would infringe upon the new buyer’s full enjoyment.
Ordering a professional inspection can be a smart move when you are selling your Hawaii home so you know exactly what your buyer is likely to discover and can remedy it before selling. Knowing your property’s truth in advance will also give you the freedom to decide about investing time and money to resolve any issues — or whether to let them be and factor them into your asking price. If you want to save valuable time, be upfront with issues and allow your potential buyer to do their own homework on the property, else you risk them walking away from the purchase entirely.
While the timing may vary from sale to sale, buyers in Hawaii will typically receive the disclosure statements within a week of their offer being accepted. The buyers will be required to sign off on receipt of the disclosure and any accompanying reports (this is not the same as accepting the property ‘as is’ — receipt is just receipt of the form itself). It can cost you a great deal if you do not complete disclosures when selling your home in Hawaii before closing — delays can be expensive in a market like ours. Even if you were not aware of a problem, you may still be responsible (disclaimer: we’re not attorneys and this isn’t legal advice). If you should find yourself wondering if you should disclose an issue, you probably should.
It is wise to err on the side of caution, and taking the time to check with a professional to be sure your concern is legitimate is never a bad idea. You could be facing legal ramifications about defects or flaws that went undisclosed should the buyer find issues after the sale, so don’t risk it by being sneaky. The buyers could possibly sue you for breach of contract or intentional misrepresentation of some sort. Not only could you owe for damages, but should it be determined you committed fraud by knowingly deceiving your buyers, there is also a potential for the amount of the damages to be multiplied. The amount you could owe could be staggering, not to mention paying any attorney fees. And don’t bank on your insurance policy covering costs like these — unlikely to happen.
Should the worst happen and you receive a letter of demand for damages from an attorney after the sale of your home, you must take quick legal action to protect yourself. You do not want to discuss this with the buyer or their legal counsel, as they might be able to use it against you in a lawsuit. Again — nothing here is legal advice; we’re not attorneys, so if you’re not sure on any legal aspect of disclosures or risk of such, please do consult an experienced real estate attorney.
The big picture here is……disclose everything. Don’t play games.
Consider a Direct Sale
Here’s another option – sell your Hawaii property to Oahu Home Buyers. Oahu Home Buyers will buy your home as-is! Leave your worries about disclosure behind. Oahu Home Buyers will make a fair offer that you are in full agreement with, taking the time to walk you through how we reach our figures step by step. And at Oahu Home Buyers, we can pay cash which allows us to offer fast closings, often within a few weeks, or we can look at longer-term offers that provide greater net proceeds than a cash offer – we can put together multiple options for you to choose from.
Our job at Oahu Home Buyers is to help you solve any problems attached to the house and/or mortgage. Our goal is to be sure you are confident that you are making the best decision for your unique situation. Feel free to call Oahu Home Buyers with any questions or concerns you may have about your property, with no obligation to sell. We make it easy to sell your home in Hawaii. Working with Oahu Home Buyers means you will have a team of professionals from every walk of the real estate industry ready and willing to step in and provide assistance. Our team at Oahu Home Buyers, along with our network of industry providers, allows us to move swiftly and take care of everything for you. Just take what you want to keep with you and leave the rest to Oahu Home Buyers!