Anything that is not readily apparent, and could be an annoying factor to a new Buyer should be disclosed in one way or another. "Loud" is very subjective, and what might be noise to some ears is music to others. That includes kids at play - some people chuckle at the sound while others groan. You can't be the judge for your Buyer, however, so we think you should disclose all such tranquility anomalies.
We are asked on a regular basis what should be disclosed... "do we have to disclose _______"? Many want to rely on the Caveat Emptor philosophy that prevailed for so many years in our business - that is, Buyer Beware. That philosophy was extinguished with the litigation frenzy of the eighties. It is now law that you complete a Seller's Real Property Disclosure Statement as a part of the sale of your home in the State of Nevada, and that Statement can become the basis for litigation when Sellers withhold or misstate pertinent items that affect the quiet enjoyment, safety, or value of the property.
Not everything is legally required to be disclosed, but from a moral standpoint you can save a lot of grief if you make the facts known anyway. Things that can be "forgotten" in a Disclosure Statement include incessant barking dogs next door, a neighbor or neighborhood dispute of some kind, a known sex offender living nearby that you know about, water that migrates on your property from a neighbor, the breaker blows when you plug in the toaster, kids cut across your lawn on the way home from school, the neighbor sunbathes au naturel, etc. There are a number of things that might not bother you but could drive a new Buyer to drink ... and vice versa. Let the Buyer Decide. Example - Barking dogs? What if the Buyer has dogs of his own and wants them to have a buddy to bark at while he's gone during the day?
Don't think a Buyer won't find out about something. When the septic backs up and your Buyer calls to have the lines cleared and the person you called says, "We were wondering when you would call." That's when they find out you had this problem twice a year for awhile and you didn't disclose it. True story and one of many. It is what it is ... tell it like that and you'll be fine.
Our Advice: When in doubt ... disclose! With the scarcity of Buyers these days it may be tempting to risk not disclosing something, or, conversely, to not risk disclosing something. Either way is wrong, of course. If you lose a sale because of a disclosure that you made then you can take comfort in the fact that you probably didn't lose a sale, rather you prevented a lawsuit. If it the matter was important enough to the Buyer to cancel an escrow then you surely would have had future problems when they discovered the problem for themselves. Your disclosure is best if written, but at the very least make sure you have witnesses to your statement, like the agents, and that you emphasize the point when you make it. Quite often the Buyer is arranging furniture in their mind and not really listening to something you are saying. A follow up memorandum for the file is good insurance for you.
Think of disclosure like a marriage - everything is great at the beginning, and anything you disclose will be looked at differently than when it comes time for the divorce, or, in real estate, the lawsuit. Disclose the reality, or your perception thereof, and you'll not lose any sleep. Disclose and let the Buyers decide ... only they know what it means to them. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless!Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.carsonvalleyland.com