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When can you stop disclosing?
PhyllisHarb WEB MUG
Dear Phyllis,
We have been in escrow for a bit more than a month. We completed all of the paperwork about what’s wrong with the house and the couple buying our home signed everything. The buyer had their inspection and we negotiated a $3,000 credit for miscellaneous items. All seemed well until we had that horrible rainstorm in March. Our roof sprang a leak, and I contacted a roofer who repaired it. Our real estate agent insists that we disclose to the buyer the fact that the roof leaked and that we had it repaired. But I think that is just asking for trouble, we already fixed it and we don’t want to have to start negotiating again.    

Do we really have to tell the buyer about something we already took care of?    Sam R.

Dear Sam,
I am not an attorney but as a Realtor®, I agree with your real estate agent. The fact that your roof leaked is a material fact and the buyer has a right to know. In my opinion, you have a larger liability if you fail to disclose the repair.

Although you hired a roofer to repair the leak, how can you be certain that he properly took care of it? What if the roof leaks again? The buyer will hire a roofer to repair the problem and it will be apparent that there was a recent repair. The fact that you didn’t make this disclosure may give the appearance that you have something to hide.

It’s a very simple disclosure, something to the effect that: “During heavy rains in March 2012, our roof leaked in (indicate which room). We contacted (name of roofer) who made a repair to the roof. A copy of the invoice is attached. We have had no further leaks since the repair. (Assuming this is correct).”

But please discuss the disclosure verbiage with your real estate agent who is privy to all of the details in your escrow.