The Transfer Disclosure Statement

When you list your home, your REALTOR will have you fill out several documents. One of which is called the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (RETDS). This document is meant to acknowledge all of the material facts that you know about the home. This is protection for the consumer. Everything that would affect the salability and desirability of your home needs to be disclosed.

To prove this point, here’s a little background. In 1984 there was a major lawsuit in California – Easton vs. Strausburger. Strausburger, the Seller, lived in a home that was valued at $170,000. He had two major landslides on the property and never disclosed this to the Buyer, Easton. After purchasing the home, Easton experienced a landslide. As a result, that $170,000 home was then valued at $20,000 with over $200,000 worth of damage done to the home. The Buyer sued the Seller AND the REALTOR. They were both held liable in this lawsuit.

It is imperative that Sellers disclose all material facts known about their home. And don’t forget, your REALTOR will be with you every step of the way to help you with these forms. The general rule for a Seller should be: If you know, disclose. If you’re not sure, ask.

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