The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) and Home Inspection Report are two very important parts of a Real Estate transaction that don’t necessarily go hand in hand although both are intended to provide the buyer with valuable information about the property.
The SPDS is a document with a series of questions that the seller answers to disclose known facts about the property regardless of when they occurred. For example: Are you aware of any damage to any structure on the Property by any of the following? Flood, Fire, Wind, Expansive soil(s), Water, Hail, etc. Conditions on the SPDS may or may not have been corrected already.
The Home Inspection is a “snapshot” of the home at that moment in time when the inspector is present. The inspection report will note many existing conditions on the SPDS. Evidence of corrected items may or may not appear on the inspection report and some current problems might not be readily visible to the inspector and can go undetected during the home inspection.
Does a home inspector use the SPDS in an inspection?
Some home inspectors will ask for a copy of The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement while others don’t. It’s a matter of preference for the inspector or based on the level of experience that the inspector has. At White Glove Home Inspections, we do not ask for the SPDS instead, we do a full home inspection looking at all areas of the property. The inspection report will alert everyone of issues that were not disclosed or missed in the SPDS and allow the Buyer to know if the items that have been disclosed in the SPDS were property repaired.
Is the seller required to provide the SPDS?
That’s a great question! In these days of the “flippers,” some sellers refuse to complete The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. These “flippers” never lived in the home. They probably received an SPDS when they purchased the property. However, this may be their way of not disclosing what they know about the property to the next buyer. A buyer can request (in the contract) that the seller complete the SPDS but the seller can also reject that offer.
The final thought on the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statements and Home Inspections
State law requires the Seller to disclose all material facts about the property to the buyer. Even if both parties agree not to use the SPDS, these facts must be disclosed. A home inspection is an independent (third party, unbiased) report of major deficiencies that aid a buyer’s purchase decision. A professional home inspection should be part of every real estate transaction whether or not there is a completed SPDS. Some sellers will have an inspection done before listing the property. Those homeowners can either repair issues prior to the sale or price the home accordingly.