Lawsuits seem to be inevitable... Research shows there are 5 steps you can take to help avoid them.
#1. When representing a seller, get a "Sellers Coverage" home warranty. They are pretty affordable and can be paid for through escrow. The cost is calculated on a daily basis from the day you order to the day you close. If anything in the home stops working prior to close of escrow, the Seller's Coverage home warranty will cover it. This can save a lot of money and headache for you and the Sellers.
#2. A properly filled out TDS, CAR-SPQ or PRDS SSC in the seller's own handwriting. Having the seller take the time to really answer the questions on the corresponding forms helps uncover forgotten things that are needed to be disclosed. Having the form filled out by the seller, avoids the ability of the seller to say you coerced them into answering a certain way, or blaming you for the incorrect responses. Side note: Have the sellers type out any additional information regarding updates, remodels, painting, etc... and attach it to your disclosure package.
#3. Having a property, pest, roof and chimney inspection done on the home. These four inspections will help disclose things about the home that the seller may not have been aware of, and provides buyers all the information prior to writing their offers.
#4. Make sure the buyer has a home warranty in place at close of escrow. This inexpensive option keeps everyone happy. If something breaks or needs repair, a simple call (and trade fee) gets its fixed. A must for all purchases.
#5. Be sure your seller digs out ALL old inspections, repairs, work receipts, construction bids... The contract requires the seller to disclose all of that old stuff, so make your sellers dig!
Now, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. You should always consult an attorney. Statistics show that many lawsuits occur when the buyer discovers something after the close of escrow that they were not aware of when purchasing their home. Warranties help resolve issues. Disclosures help avoid conflicts.
So take the time, recommend inspections, get those warranties and hire us to manage your transactions!
We are here for you!