Author Topic: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue  (Read 1206 times)

jeromedawg

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Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« on: August 20, 2020, 08:32:26 PM »
Hey all

So I recently noticed the cabinet area under the kitchen sink must have had some water dripping back there at some point (it's dry now I think so this was in the past and I don't think it was recent) because the particle board is sort of crumbling a good amount - we noticed it after removing some more items.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a contractor out fast enough to inspect and remediate. But was wondering, if I were to just do it myself (sand, fill with wood filler, then seal and or paint), if that would be 'sufficient' and if I would still need to disclose that there was "some minor damage under the kitchen sink that has been repaired"

Thoughts?

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 10:10:17 PM »
I would not disclose it.  Iíve repaired a few sink cabinets from past water leaks and unless it is only minor damage, I would cut a new board to fit, staple or finish nail it over the deteriorated wood and paint to match.  Need to make sure thereís no moisture or mold when  itís closed up. Lauan for the backer or 1/2Ē gs1 plywood for the bottom.

Abe

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 10:22:07 PM »
If it's just the particle board for the cabinet and there's no damage to the drywall, don't worry about it. Cut out that section and replace. If there's drywall damage, I would disclose that and replace the drywall. I would also disclose any mold.

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 11:14:52 PM »
Here are a few pics. Could I get a panel of laminate and cut to size and just use contact cement over the particle board?









Am I gonna want to do any sanding before this? The concern is that the current particle board is not level due to high and low spots. How would I account for that?

No drywall damage or mold from what I can tell or see
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 12:06:28 AM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2020, 01:25:33 AM »
Ok, potentially bad news here. I sent the same pics to a construction company/contractor and he immediately said "you need a restoration company to take care of the water damage - there is mold under that area" - I'm not sure if he's making assumptions or if he can just tell by the pictures that this is the case. Either way, it's pretty unsettling...

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2020, 04:48:43 AM »
@jeromedawg Relax and delete that contractor's number. There is always going to be mold of some sort, some where in your house.  Remediation required for under your kitchen sink??  Lollll....

Remove the water damaged wood, clean the area with bleach for good measure, replace it with a new piece and move on.  No need to disclose anything and mold should be a standard disclosure in any home sales contract as there is mold of some type in every house.

Papa bear

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 05:53:06 AM »
When I get the chance, under sinks in cabinets, I will use a cut off piece of sheet vinyl flooring to put over the entire bottom shelf.  There will be a leak at some point.  This will keep the garbage particle board from getting ruined.  I especially try to do this at rental properties. Tenants never find these leaks.

For you? Just get a piece of 1/4Ē luan plywood and cut it to size and lay it over top, youíll probably have to do it in 2 pieces to get it in there. I donít like the idea of cutting that out.  These cabinets are pretty cheaply built and that bottom shelf is most likely dadoíd into the sides.  Youíll never be able to replicate that with a replacement without taking the entire cabinet out and rebuilding it.  Thereís not much to these cabinets and taking out the entire bottom and not rebuilding it can potentially cause the cabinet to rack. 

That contractor who talked about mold remediation is trying to scare you into a job.  This is just about the most common water leak area ever.


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jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 08:35:38 AM »
When I get the chance, under sinks in cabinets, I will use a cut off piece of sheet vinyl flooring to put over the entire bottom shelf.  There will be a leak at some point.  This will keep the garbage particle board from getting ruined.  I especially try to do this at rental properties. Tenants never find these leaks.

For you? Just get a piece of 1/4Ē luan plywood and cut it to size and lay it over top, youíll probably have to do it in 2 pieces to get it in there. I donít like the idea of cutting that out.  These cabinets are pretty cheaply built and that bottom shelf is most likely dadoíd into the sides.  Youíll never be able to replicate that with a replacement without taking the entire cabinet out and rebuilding it.  Thereís not much to these cabinets and taking out the entire bottom and not rebuilding it can potentially cause the cabinet to rack. 

That contractor who talked about mold remediation is trying to scare you into a job.  This is just about the most common water leak area ever.



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Would you glue the plywood down with something? Contact cement? Construction adhesive? I have a large piece of plywood (not sure if it's lauan) in the garage now that I think about it. I also have a couple sheets of thinner melamine (? it's those boards that people use to put together and glue puzzles onto permanently).\

Otherwise, are you guys pretty much suggesting to just cover this up and not disclose anything (this would be against the advice of my realtor as well)?

As far as the guy trying to scare me into a job - possibly... he said "If it is only that's part we wouldn't be able to help you, my apologies.  We perform whole remodels." - he could be somewhat passively implying there that we should do a remodel.

 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 08:41:11 AM by jeromedawg »

Papa bear

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2020, 09:02:51 AM »
I would screw it down in a few spots.  Whatever you put in there isnít going anywhere.  As a saying goes, ďshit doesnít fall up.Ē  Additionally, water on these particle board cabinets will make the problem look much worse than it is. If that was plywood, you would probably just have a water spot and not the bubbling, looks like the end of the world mold issues.  If itís dry, youíre fine. 

So, screw it down in the corners so it doesnít move around, thatís good enough for this.  If you want to disclose it, go ahead.  But this is very common.  (literally every sink will leak at some point.  The connections under the cabinet are not permanent, and arenít meant to be) You have the problem fixed, so itís not getting worse. 


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jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2020, 09:41:02 AM »
I would screw it down in a few spots.  Whatever you put in there isn’t going anywhere.  As a saying goes, “shit doesn’t fall up.”  Additionally, water on these particle board cabinets will make the problem look much worse than it is. If that was plywood, you would probably just have a water spot and not the bubbling, looks like the end of the world mold issues.  If it’s dry, you’re fine. 

So, screw it down in the corners so it doesn’t move around, that’s good enough for this.  If you want to disclose it, go ahead.  But this is very common.  (literally every sink will leak at some point.  The connections under the cabinet are not permanent, and aren’t meant to be) You have the problem fixed, so it’s not getting worse. 


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I have some drywall screws - I'm assuming those will do the trick? What I'll probably do before I screw it in, for good measure, is to spray the area with Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide cleaner and let it sit for 15-20 then wipe and dry. Sounds like sanding and gluing is not worth it?

I may have packed all my saws and left them at my friends, which is going to suck since he's another 20 mins away from my place. But maybe I'll just go over to his place and make the cuts (I think he may have a mitre saw and table saw anyway) if that's the case.

My realtor was just warning of the potential risk with this "can of worms" - kind of the "what ifs" in the case that the issue is actually worse than it appears. One situation he brought up is if the buyer sees this, digs into it, and starts demanding more investigation (like a mold inspection/report, etc)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 09:49:16 AM by jeromedawg »

Papa bear

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2020, 09:48:54 AM »
Drywall screws will work, but they will rust quickly.  Galvanized would be the best.  But realistically, this isnít meant to last another 30 years, I would use whatever you have on hand.

As for sanding/gluing, thatís a lot more work than you need to do.  The only thing you may run into is if the particle board is bubbled up and the 1/4Ē sheet wonít lay flat.  In that case, you can just chisel some out so it will fit flat.


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jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2020, 10:09:09 AM »
Drywall screws will work, but they will rust quickly.  Galvanized would be the best.  But realistically, this isn’t meant to last another 30 years, I would use whatever you have on hand.

As for sanding/gluing, that’s a lot more work than you need to do.  The only thing you may run into is if the particle board is bubbled up and the 1/4” sheet won’t lay flat.  In that case, you can just chisel some out so it will fit flat.


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On second thought - if this is such a common problem (implying that most home buyers/investors likely wouldn't care about it in an inspection report), is it even worth bothering with? My realtor is suggesting that by putting something over it (especially if the potential buyers who made the offer looked under there during their initial viewing, by chance), it could look like we're hiding/covering something up and that could backfire in some way.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 10:19:56 AM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2020, 10:48:51 AM »
Okay, so I just ordered some white con-tact paper and Liquid Nails interior for pick-up from Home Depot. The plan is to cut some thin plywood to size, wrap the con-tact over it, try to get it as level as possible on the particle board and then glue it down. Maybe use additional screws to secure it like in the corners as well if anything. I think if I were to just use what I have on hand, it would look like a total hack-job and potentially draw attention. At least this way, I think it might look half-decent haha.

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2020, 11:29:55 AM »
Okay, so I just ordered some white con-tact paper and Liquid Nails interior for pick-up from Home Depot. The plan is to cut some thin plywood to size, wrap the con-tact over it, try to get it as level as possible on the particle board and then glue it down. Maybe use additional screws to secure it like in the corners as well if anything. I think if I were to just use what I have on hand, it would look like a total hack-job and potentially draw attention. At least this way, I think it might look half-decent haha.

That sounds like a great plan

Papa bear

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Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2020, 11:44:22 AM »
Make it look good and your fine. These cabinets get stuff rebuilt like that on the bottoms fairly often.   No big deal.  You arenít hiding a problem. The problem was a leak. Thatís fixed.  You then made the cabinet bottom look pretty again.


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« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 11:47:59 AM by Papa bear »

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2020, 03:53:09 PM »
Thanks. Got it done. And fortunately before a 'surprise' visit from a realtor who walked in (my agent forgot to put it on the calendar) on me while I was working on fixing some window screens later on. All of the sudden, I heard the sliding glass door behind me and someone greet me (I nearly shat my pants). Anyway, I would have been pretty pissed if I was sitting on the floor of the kitchen with a bunch of tools laying around/wood shavings/sawdust and someone walked in on me like that. It would have looked terrible.





Picked up the contact paper and liquid nails from Home Depot on the way back then found the piece of plywood in the garage (1/4" thick and big enough to cut the right shape). Sprayed some of the hydrogen peroxide cleaner on the area and then wiped off as much as I could so there were less crumbles, let it dry, put the adhesive down and laid the board on top (it took some time to shave it down to size to get it to lay in there nicely). I added like 6 drywall screws for extra 'insurance' and then placed a few sheets of the contact paper over - it was tricky to lay down such a big sheet of it in a tight space but I mostly got it to look decent. We'll probably just disclose that there was some leaking but that it was remediated and repaired.

Or at this point, is it really something worth disclosing at all?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 04:04:33 PM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2020, 04:12:51 PM »
I'm thinking I probably should have gone with something that had a pattern but oh well, too late now :T

Papa bear

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2020, 04:42:32 PM »
Looks good!


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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2020, 05:44:11 PM »
Put yourself in the position of the buyer -- if you were buying a house and noticed something that looked like a new repair and the seller was not upfront about it, how would you feel?  Would you trust that person/still feel comfortable buying from them?

You have the photos.  I would disclose.

This is coming from someone who bought a house with a lot of shabby cover-over repairs that started falling apart 6 months after the sale closed, including some major water damage/rot.  So maybe I am overly sensitive.  But I don't like dealing with dishonest people.


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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2020, 02:26:21 PM »
Thanks. Got it done. And fortunately before a 'surprise' visit from a realtor who walked in (my agent forgot to put it on the calendar) on me while I was working on fixing some window screens later on. All of the sudden, I heard the sliding glass door behind me and someone greet me (I nearly shat my pants). Anyway, I would have been pretty pissed if I was sitting on the floor of the kitchen with a bunch of tools laying around/wood shavings/sawdust and someone walked in on me like that. It would have looked terrible.





Picked up the contact paper and liquid nails from Home Depot on the way back then found the piece of plywood in the garage (1/4" thick and big enough to cut the right shape). Sprayed some of the hydrogen peroxide cleaner on the area and then wiped off as much as I could so there were less crumbles, let it dry, put the adhesive down and laid the board on top (it took some time to shave it down to size to get it to lay in there nicely). I added like 6 drywall screws for extra 'insurance' and then placed a few sheets of the contact paper over - it was tricky to lay down such a big sheet of it in a tight space but I mostly got it to look decent. We'll probably just disclose that there was some leaking but that it was remediated and repaired.

Or at this point, is it really something worth disclosing at all?

Ask your realtor as they should know what ie legally required, but I wouldn't disclose unless they say it's necessary.  You don't tell a buyer about every time a toilet was running or a drain clogged, or small, resolved maintenance issues.  In my non legal expert opinion this would be similar to that.  Your agent is paid to know what is required so ask them, then do that. 

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2020, 04:19:01 PM »
These cabinets get stuff rebuilt like that on the bottoms fairly often.   No big deal.  You arenít hiding a problem. The problem was a leak. Thatís fixed.  You then made the cabinet bottom look pretty again.

In light of the last two comments, just want to second the above

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2020, 05:50:34 PM »
Thanks. It was recommended that I just disclose, so I noted "Kitchen sink leak. Remediated and repaired"

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2020, 09:09:06 PM »
I canít believe there has been this much discussion. Fix it and move on. What is there to disclose? You need a new Realtor by the way - lol.


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jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2020, 12:43:19 AM »
I can’t believe there has been this much discussion. Fix it and move on. What is there to disclose? You need a new Realtor by the way - lol.


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Just curious but what state are you in?

This is my first time selling and I'm in CA. If anything, CA real estate laws I think are more stringent in general. The SPQ is tedious to fill out, and it asks for pretty specific disclosures. I'm just trying to err on the side of caution here (I've heard horror stories of deals falling through upon the inspector catching something more serious and also lawsuits coming up from non-disclosed issues ['remediated' or not] that turned out to be a can of worms)

My realtor has been helping us for a while now, and he has a good track record, so I trust his judgement. For the most part, I think realtors are supposed to stay as neutral as possible when it comes to the TDS and SPQ. But at this point we're just trying to get through it.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 12:57:12 AM by jeromedawg »

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2020, 06:55:36 AM »
I canít believe there has been this much discussion. Fix it and move on. What is there to disclose? You need a new Realtor by the way - lol.


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Vote 2 for this. Iím almost without words that this engendered this much back and forth. Explains a lot about first time buyer comments these days and the state of real estate as a market.

Sellers disclosure is for known, structural problems, failing systems, big stuff. Houses are not perfect, itís part of their charm. **Fixing a problem that pops up is what you are supposed to do.**

If somebody asks and youíre not under contract yet, then I might avoid them :) Your agent, if experienced should be able to effectively field this type of easy question without any drama, and that can compensate for an inexperienced buyer/realtor combo on the buyer side.

Iím assuming you havenít gone through the buy/sell process a lot...if so, just make sure to think through any advice you get from your realtor to be sure it works for your situation. I canít tell if this sink issue/drama originated with your realtor or if youíre just going over your house thoroughly. Itís ok to leave something for the inspector to find (usually 3 somethings ;-)

BTW, Iím not in CA, but the CA SPQ form is about the same as the 4-5 other state forms Iíve used.
Cheers.

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2020, 03:13:38 PM »
I can’t believe there has been this much discussion. Fix it and move on. What is there to disclose? You need a new Realtor by the way - lol.


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Vote 2 for this. I’m almost without words that this engendered this much back and forth. Explains a lot about first time buyer comments these days and the state of real estate as a market.

Sellers disclosure is for known, structural problems, failing systems, big stuff. Houses are not perfect, it’s part of their charm. **Fixing a problem that pops up is what you are supposed to do.**

If somebody asks and you’re not under contract yet, then I might avoid them :) Your agent, if experienced should be able to effectively field this type of easy question without any drama, and that can compensate for an inexperienced buyer/realtor combo on the buyer side.

I’m assuming you haven’t gone through the buy/sell process a lot...if so, just make sure to think through any advice you get from your realtor to be sure it works for your situation. I can’t tell if this sink issue/drama originated with your realtor or if you’re just going over your house thoroughly. It’s ok to leave something for the inspector to find (usually 3 somethings ;-)

BTW, I’m not in CA, but the CA SPQ form is about the same as the 4-5 other state forms I’ve used.
Cheers.

Would you think the same thing for noise issues from upstairs neighbors? There's definitely foot traffic (they have a 2yr old girl who will run back and forth often and they walk on their heels, over hardwood flooring, so it can be loud). SPQ calls out "Neighborhood noise, nuisance or other problems from sources such as, but not limited to, the following: neighbors..." - I hate these questionnaires because they don't really give much definition (I know a 'common' bylaw of most CCRs is to call out that all residents have the right to quiet enjoyment of their properties, etc and most will institute quiet hours. If none of that is mentioned in the CCR, I feel like a lot of this just becomes subjective especially when it comes down to SPQs and TDSes). I know a lot of people would probably say not to mention anything about "upstairs noise" and that anyone moving into a condo is dumb not to expect some level of noise. I feel like this is subjective though - the noise from the upstairs neighbors really bothered me a lot... my wife not so much. So these are the kinds of things I struggle with answering - don't want to divulge unnecessary information but also don't want for it to come back later down the road in the form of a complaint or worse yet lawsuit.

Even in the context of this thread, I see mixed opinions - some saying/implying that something like the sink I should disclose it (even after repairing) or that it's fine to disclose it if I want to, whereas a number of others would suggest that it's completely unnecessary. This was also why I was wondering why if it matters more in certain states versus others...
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 03:27:26 PM by jeromedawg »

Villanelle

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2020, 07:07:08 PM »
You agent sounds like he's covering his own ass, not yours.  But since you seem set on trusting him, then I guess you just ask his advice about the neighbor noise and follow that as well. 

To me, a question about noise strongly implies illegal or truly problematic noise.  If you aren't calling the police (or at a minimum, knocking on their door telling them to STFU, and probably more than a couple times a year), then it's not a noise *problem*, it's just sounds.  Otherwise, you'd have to report every bird, backfiring car, motorcycle that drives by, instance kids playing outside and literally any noise you hear, not?  If you are reporting noises, then all those qualify.  If you are reporting noise problems then none of those do, and nor do, IMO, the occasional sounds of a person living on your "roof" or sharing a wall. 

And by the same logic, if you have to report this sink then, they don't you need to report every running toilet, dripping sink, loose drawer pull that you tightened, door squeak to which you applied WD-40....  All problems the house has ever had that have been fixed. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2020, 07:42:28 PM »
You agent sounds like he's covering his own ass, not yours.  But since you seem set on trusting him, then I guess you just ask his advice about the neighbor noise and follow that as well. 

To me, a question about noise strongly implies illegal or truly problematic noise.  If you aren't calling the police (or at a minimum, knocking on their door telling them to STFU, and probably more than a couple times a year), then it's not a noise *problem*, it's just sounds.  Otherwise, you'd have to report every bird, backfiring car, motorcycle that drives by, instance kids playing outside and literally any noise you hear, not?  If you are reporting noises, then all those qualify.  If you are reporting noise problems then none of those do, and nor do, IMO, the occasional sounds of a person living on your "roof" or sharing a wall. 

And by the same logic, if you have to report this sink then, they don't you need to report every running toilet, dripping sink, loose drawer pull that you tightened, door squeak to which you applied WD-40....  All problems the house has ever had that have been fixed.


Agreed on the noise - I ended up removing the note about it as I thought it was strange going back and initially including it. And good last point - I think this one just feels iffy to me because it's so 'fresh' in that I literally went back there just the other day and installed the plywood/contact paper haha. 
Other than this, there were a couple other areas where I disclosed particularly water damage/flood instances (from upstairs neighbors and also from user error of the washing machine on our part) that had to be remediated through insurance. Besides that, I made mention of a few other random things like closing up an opening in a wall (by design) between a bedroom and living room, replacing the water heater, installing a smart thermostat, repairing an issue with the dryer, repairing an issue on the furnace, etc. Not even sure I need to include all those. I think I'm just having trouble figuring out what really is and isn't worth disclosing. 

Regarding the agent, technically he's just abiding by what it states in the SPQ:
"If you do not understand how to answer a question, or what to disclose or how to make a disclosure in response to a question, whether on this form or a TDS, you should consult a real estate attorney in California of your choosing. A broker cannot answer the questions for you or advise you on the legal sufficiency of any answers or disclosures you provide."

Not familiar but will most agents disregard that "off the book" and proceed with advising their client on how to fill the SPQ/TDS out (particularly first time sellers)?

That said, for good measure I'm probably just going to phone a lawyer through ARAG to see if it makes sense to disclose all that stuff.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 07:51:26 PM by jeromedawg »

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Re: Seller disclosure for potential kitchen sink cabinet issue
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2020, 01:20:05 PM »
You agent sounds like he's covering his own ass, not yours.  But since you seem set on trusting him, then I guess you just ask his advice about the neighbor noise and follow that as well. 

To me, a question about noise strongly implies illegal or truly problematic noise.  If you aren't calling the police (or at a minimum, knocking on their door telling them to STFU, and probably more than a couple times a year), then it's not a noise *problem*, it's just sounds.  Otherwise, you'd have to report every bird, backfiring car, motorcycle that drives by, instance kids playing outside and literally any noise you hear, not?  If you are reporting noises, then all those qualify.  If you are reporting noise problems then none of those do, and nor do, IMO, the occasional sounds of a person living on your "roof" or sharing a wall. 

And by the same logic, if you have to report this sink then, they don't you need to report every running toilet, dripping sink, loose drawer pull that you tightened, door squeak to which you applied WD-40....  All problems the house has ever had that have been fixed.


Agreed on the noise - I ended up removing the note about it as I thought it was strange going back and initially including it. And good last point - I think this one just feels iffy to me because it's so 'fresh' in that I literally went back there just the other day and installed the plywood/contact paper haha. 
Other than this, there were a couple other areas where I disclosed particularly water damage/flood instances (from upstairs neighbors and also from user error of the washing machine on our part) that had to be remediated through insurance. Besides that, I made mention of a few other random things like closing up an opening in a wall (by design) between a bedroom and living room, replacing the water heater, installing a smart thermostat, repairing an issue with the dryer, repairing an issue on the furnace, etc. Not even sure I need to include all those. I think I'm just having trouble figuring out what really is and isn't worth disclosing. 

Regarding the agent, technically he's just abiding by what it states in the SPQ:
"If you do not understand how to answer a question, or what to disclose or how to make a disclosure in response to a question, whether on this form or a TDS, you should consult a real estate attorney in California of your choosing. A broker cannot answer the questions for you or advise you on the legal sufficiency of any answers or disclosures you provide."

Not familiar but will most agents disregard that "off the book" and proceed with advising their client on how to fill the SPQ/TDS out (particularly first time sellers)?

That said, for good measure I'm probably just going to phone a lawyer through ARAG to see if it makes sense to disclose all that stuff.

Things like repairing the furnace and other appliances don't need to be disclosed if they are in good working order. Those are standard things in a house. Just note the years they were installed and their current functional status. Non-structural issues I'd just note what the damage was and it was fully remediated (I had a similar issue that I disclosed, the buyers didn't care since we took care of it before closing). Installing a new thermostat, things like that you don't need to include. Mainly disclosures are for issues that are either not repaired, or occurred and may negatively impact the value of the house if they were not fixed properly, Standard maintenance and minor upgrades don't need to be noted.

I'm not a lawyer, but have bought and sold several times and never had a disclosure that was of concern to either party. It doesn't hurt to consult a lawyer if it makes you feel better.