SPDS: Seller Property Disclosure Statement
July 19, 2017 - By Rachel Deckman
The Residential Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) is a very important document disclosure form used in the home buying and selling processes. The purpose of this document is to notify and disclose facts about the home and property to the potential home buyers. A copy of the SPDS is required by the AAR Purchase Contract to be provided to the home buyer within 5 days of contract acceptance.
What are Sellers Expected to Disclose?
By law, sellers are expected to disclose all known material facts about the property. Both the home buyer and seller deserve quality information during the transaction. We encourage and ask that sellers answer to answer the questions as honestly, truthfully and thoroughly as possible with the information they already know in their disclosures. As a seller, it is your chance to provide quality information about the property to the potential buyers whether or not you are asked by the buyer or a real estate agent.
The SPDS is broken up in these sections:
- Ownership and General Property Information- location of the property, occupants and legal owners of the property.
- Building and Safety Information- Physical aspects of the property. Any past or present problems on the property or improvements made to the property.
- Utility Company Info- Who currently provides the utilities on the property.
- Environmental Information- Soil settlement or expansion, drainage/grade or erosion, noise from airports or traffic, odors, water leaks and mold.
- Sewer and Waste Water Treatment- If the property is connected to a sewer, if there is a septic system and other additional information.
- Miscellaneous Conditions and Explanations- Provides space for the seller to disclose any additional important information concerning the property.
What doesn’t have to be Disclosed?
The SPDS form is an essential part in the home buying and selling processes. As a buyer, wouldn’t you like to know material facts about the home? Wouldn’t you be angry if you found out that the seller had withheld known material information?
Remember to disclose everything that you know and be as honest and truthful as you can. You may scare away a buyer, but more often than not, disclosing doesn’t do that. But considering the possibility of lawsuit for fraud or misrepresentation, a buyer walking away is a better outcome than a lawsuit.
Finding this resource online can be a great way to get familiar with the document, but make sure you go over it thoroughly and discuss with your agent anything that you might need help understanding further. When in doubt- Disclose!