We have all heard when listing a home Realtors are supposed to inform their clients to fill out a Seller’s Disclosure form and DISCLOSE DISCLOSE DISCLOSE. When a defect is physical (for example, a leaking roof or unsound foundation), the issue is clear. Licensees must disclose. When the defect is emotion (for example, murder, ghosts or diseases such as AIDS), the answer varies according to the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC).
The (GREC) website also states occasionally, a seller asks a real estate licensee to offer a property for sale in "As Is" condition. Sometimes that request simply reflects the seller's desire not to have to repaint a structure or to accomplish other basically cosmetic repairs. However, sometimes that request reflects the seller's desire not to be responsible for known material defects in the property. Using such language as "This property is sold as is" in a sales contract will probably not relieve the seller and the licensee from responsibility for material defects. If such language relieves liability at all, it is likely to be only for those defects which the buyer already knows about or which are so obvious that a quick visual inspection of the property would make them apparent to the buyer. Do not expect such "As Is" language to cover less obvious material defects or those which the seller or licensee have not specifically identified for the buyer. If litigation later arises over unknown defects, the courts are not likely to allow such "As Is" language to relieve the seller and/or the agent of liability.
How about the agents disclosing information to their clients? Most sellers and buyers usually rely and depend on their Realtor’s or their brokerage for referrals and guidance on lenders, home inspectors, contractors, insurance providers, appraisers, home warranties, closing attorney’s, just among the few resources needed from contract to close on a home. Clients depend on us to provide them with good, honest and quality leads. We call them our “Preferred Vendors”. However, business relationships are formed and sometimes people profit from the referrals and leads of the preferred vendors. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? All depends on how you look at it and if it was disclosed by your Realtor.
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