Westcoe Realtors, Riverside Ca…When we represent the seller on the sale of their home, the Seller Property Questionnaire (let’s call this the SPQ…quicker to type) is one document that generally makes a seller roll their eyes.
Why? Because it’s 4 pages long, looks like a pain-in-the-rear, and has enough legal “stuff” on the front page to choke a horse. So what is a seller to do?
Easy…ask your agent how to fill it out…but in the absence of an agent, or if your agent is not particularly helpful (shame on you for using them), then perhaps the following will be of some assistance…because like it or not, if you are selling a home, you will probably need to fill out this SPQ form.
First, understand that like most disclosure forms, this one is there to help you, so don’t fight it. It really is fairly simple. Remember…one size fits all (so we are told), so this form needed to cover anything that may be happening in your home…and trust us, no home has all of what they ask for, so you will get to skip a bunch of stuff.
So…here is what you need to know.
On the first page, there are 10 questions with YES or NO answers. Read them and answer. They are simple questions, and by signing your standard purchase agreement with the buyer, you agreed to provide them with this information…so just do it. YES or NO…pretty simple. If there is a question you are not sure about the answer, then leave it blank, and explain why you left it blank in the space provided at the end.
OK…now move on to pages 2,3, and 4.
All you need to know here is that the form will reference a series of questions and prompt you for your answer. For example: questions about appliances, electrical systems, any water or mold issues, any pet or animal problems, landscaping and pool questions if they apply, etc.
Remember, this disclosure form is there to help you, so just answer the questions…and our best advice we can give you for any disclosure form is this:
If you are unsure if you need to disclose something, JUST DO IT. It is far better to “over-disclose” than to “under-disclose” since saying too much will not get you in trouble later with a lawsuit for failing to tell the buyer about something that might have been important.
So…with regards to the SPQ, don’t let the 4 pages of small print freak you out. Take your time and you will be fine. It’s only when a seller is in a hurry that mistakes happen.