Contracts and addenda used in real estate transactions are constantly being revised by the Texas Association of Realtors to reflect new laws and new ways of conducting business. On January 1, 2010 they introduced a new version of the Seller's Disclosure Notice. Last spring the 81st Texas Legislature passed laws mandating changes to the Seller's Disclosure Notice (TAR 1406).
The four changes you need to be aware of in the Seller's Disclosure are:
1. There is now additional clarifying language mandated on all seller's disclosure forms concerning smoke detectors. The disclosure states that smoke detectors are required and the seller must install smoke detectors for the hearing impaired if certain conditions are met. The clarification added is the following: The Parties may agree who will bear the cost of installing the smoke detectors and which brand of smoke detectors to install.
2. The disclosure notices previously contained a section where a buyer could waive his rights to having smoke detectors installed. This has now been removed.
3. There was clarifying language added to the question "if the seller is aware of any lawsuits or other legal proceedings directly or indirectly affecting the property." The additional language added is: "includes but is not limited to divorce, foreclosure, heir-ship, bankruptcy and taxes."
4. The seller now must add the phone numbers for the disclosed utilities on the disclosurem so a buyer does not have to chase down the phone numbers for contacting those entities.
We as agents need to make time to keep up with revisions so we can explain their impact to both sellers and buyers. If we are going to be our clients resource we need to be up to speed!