Today, I’ll be answering a question I recently received:
If you work with a licensed Realtor in the state of Utah, you have to fill out seller disclosures, which is a seven page form. This form enables the seller to tell the buyer everything about the property that they wouldn’t be able to figure out by just looking at it. (Think mold, water damage, bad plumbing, the water heater has been having issues, etc.) HOWEVER. If you do a for-sale-by-owner, these disclosures are not legally required. Some people, sadly, will purposely sell a home this way to avoid doing sellers disclosures.
I had a friend who bought a house, for sale by owner style, from someone they knew. Soon after they moved in, the plumbing leaked and they ended up with a flood in the basement. It seemed very likely that this had happened multiple times before and that the seller was aware of the issue, but had failed to tell my friend about it. Legally, without a Realtor on their end, there wasn’t much my friend could do.
That being said- work with a licensed Realtor! Make sure disclosures are filled out and feel free to ask questions about them when buying a house- better safe than sorry!