Previously, we covered the Louisiana property disclosures involving Land.
Remember, home sellers in Louisiana (including for sale by owners) are required to provide a property disclosure prior to a potential buyer making an offer to purchase. This mandate applies not only to sales, but also to exchanges, bond for deeds and lease purchase options.
If the property disclosure is supplied to the purchaser after an offer is received, the purchaser can terminate the purchase agreement without penalty up to 72 hours after receipt. This means that no matter what terms are written in the sales contract, the purchaser can demand the return of their deposit and cancellation of the purchase agreement.
Our next section of disclosures involve termites and other wood destroying insects. While termites aren’t anybody’s favorite topic, they are a fact of life in Louisiana, especially in the New Orleans area. It is important to be painfully honest on your disclosure statements! Believe me, more often than not, home and termite inspectors find evidence of previous damage that sellers may not have even known existed.
It is only in the last 15 years or so that having a professional home and termite inspection became the standard practice during the home buying process. Before then, buyers looked at houses and bought the one they liked. No inspections, no disclosures, and no real information except what you could visibly see. Now, it is imperative that you disclose everything you know about a property.
Here is a snapshot of section 2 of the property disclosure:
Y = Yes, N=No, NK=No Knowledge
Has the property ever had termites or other wood destroying insects? Don’t be afraid to say Yes! Most termite inspectors will tell you that there are 2 kinds of houses in the metro New Orleans area – those that HAVE termites and those that WILL have termites. The fact that you may have had termites in the past will not put your house on the back burner for most educated buyers.
Was there any damage to the property? Again, be honest. If you had termites and there was damage as a result, you will need to provide an explanation for the buyers. When, where and how are the rules – when did the damage occur, where was the damage and how was it repaired.
Was the damage repaired? This ties directly to the question above and savvy buyers will want a complete explanation, not just a check mark in the Yes box.
Is the property currently under termite contract? If so, with what company, when does the contract expire and what structures are covered by the contract? Although it amazes me, there continue to be many homes not covered by an annual termite contract. If you don’t have a contract and active termites are discovered during inspections, rest assured that you will be treating the property before any mortgage company will be willing to take it as collateral for a mortgage loan.
Stay tuned for the next installment: Structure
If you are considering selling your West Bank home and would like more information on the required disclosures or a referral to a great termite guy, contact Lisa Heindel, REALTOR®. I’d be happy to help!
When buying or selling a home on the West Bank of New Orleans or relocating to the New Orleans West Bank, you deserve local expertise and advice. Lisa Heindel provides full time, professional real estate services to buyers, sellers and military transferees in Algiers, Algiers Point, Belle Chasse, Gretna, Terrytown, Harvey, Marrero, Westwego and more.
Copyright 2008. Lisa Heindel, All rights reserved.