Definition of "Full disclosure"

Mike Flannagan real estate agent
Mike Flannagan, Real Estate Agent RE/MAX Select Properties

In a broader sense, Full Disclosure means presenting all information (significant or not, classified or not) related to a certain matter.

In Real Estate, the term “Full Disclosure” can be used in different situations… it can be used as a requirement for a lender to disclose to borrowers the effective cost of a loan; its terms, conditions and all the fine print. But also, and more commonly, to refer to a requirement a real estate broker – or a home seller going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route – has of providing all known information about the condition of a property - its structural flaws, its average energy consumption, its blueprint etc. – to the home buyer. If after the sale the home buyer discovers information discrepancy both the real estate broker and the former homeowner are eligible to get sued for not giving the full disclosure.

That’s why the services of a home inspector are so important. It becomes his/her responsibility to disclose all the problems of the house. Any liability becomes his/hers.

There are disclosure forms so no one says “but how would I know I had to look for that?”. There are federal disclosure requirements but also, because every locality has its own characteristics, state disclosure requirements.


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