Saturday, November 16, 2019 / by Dennis Isip
Once you’ve decided to sell your Spokane home, one of the critical legal documents that you need to personally fill yourself is Form 17 - Seller Disclosure Statement. This document is the homeowner’s declaration of the house’s condition to the best of their knowledge. Potential legal complications can arise from this document, especially if taken for granted.
Once buyers like the neighborhood and layout of the property, their next question is the overall condition of the house, especially if it’s more than 20 years old. It is quite normal for buyers to review Form 17, before deciding whether to submit an offer or not.
This form is required to be filled by the home seller. Each question must be answered with 1 of 4 responses: YES, NO, DON’T KNOW or NOT APPLICABLE.
The questions are grouped into 9 major sections as follows:
Declares the legal right of the homeowner to sell the property; that they have no knowledge of other issues that will prevent the sale, such as tax liens, or other parties that have a rightful legal claim.
Declares the sources of water: public or private. If a well is provided, what is known about the quantity and quality of the water.
Declares the availability of either a public sewer service, or an onsite sewage system; and any possible defects in its plumbing.
Declares the house’s integrity, including any leaks from the roof, cracks in the foundation, sidewalks, deck, walls, etc.
5. Systems & Fixtures
Declares the condition of various systems: electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, etc.
6. Homeowner’s Association
Declares if property is under the jurisdiction of a homeowner’s association, and if so, how mcuh are the fees.
Declares any prior damage(s) from natural events like storms, wind, fire, earthquake, flooding or other similar occurrences.
8. Lead Based Paint (applies to homes built in 1977 or older)
Declares any knowledge of lead-based paint that was prevalent, until it was banned after 1977.
9. Manufactured and Mobile Homes (If applicable)
Actually, a 10th section is provided, in case there are issues that could not covered by any of the previous sections. For example, if a flooding had occurred in the basement due to a leak in the window, the homeowner can explain how it was fixed, and that no other damage materialized since then.