My client’s home has been on the market for several months. Several buyers have made offers, but none have been acceptable to the seller. We now have a buyer who is interested in buying the property but refuses to sign the seller disclosure notice until the seller updates the notice that was prepared and signed at the beginning of my listing period. Must the seller update the notice, and can the buyer refuse to sign the notice until the seller does?

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  • My client’s home has been on the market for several months. Several buyers have made offers, but none have been acceptable to the seller. We now have a buyer who is interested in buying the property but refuses to sign the seller disclosure notice until the seller updates the notice that was prepared and signed at the beginning of my listing period. Must the seller update the notice, and can the buyer refuse to sign the notice until the seller does?

Section 5.008 of the Property Code requires that the notice shall be completed to the best of the seller’s belief and knowledge as of the date the notice signed by the seller. While the statute does not require the seller to update the notice, a seller who has acquired material information about the property’s condition since filling out the original notice should consider updating the notice or in some other manner providing that information to prospective buyers. The disclosure of such information can greatly reduce the seller’s risk of a later claim of or suit for nondisclosure of material problems with the property. The signature of a buyer on any seller’s disclosure notice only acknowledges receipt by the buyer of that notice. While there is no statutory mandate that buyers must sign the notice, buyers should cooperate by signing the receipt portion of the notice when they receive the notice. Such a signature could also be helpful should a question later arise concerning whether the buyer received this notice or maybe another seller’s disclosure notice provided by a seller containing different information. In any event, if a buyer refuses to sign the receipt for the notice, the broker could note on a copy of the notice the date that the notice was provided to the buyer and that the buyer would not sign the receipt. That noted copy could be retained in the broker’s file as evidence of compliance by the broker in furnishing a copy of the notice to the buyer.

Source: TAR

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