For Sale By Owner
When I worked for a Title and Escrow Company, we assisted quite a few property owners close the sale of their homes without the assistance of a Real Estate Broker. We called these FSBO (FizzBohs), short for For Sale By Owner. Many of the escrow closers came to dread seeing the FSBO, because it meant a lot more explaining and that more assistance was required of them. Their employer, the Title Company, couldn’t charge extra for non-represented owners because of pressure from competition. I found it a change from the ordinary and quite interesting, as I often got to explain the, often-considering-boring (by others, not me), real property concepts to a listener who really appreciated receiving the knowledge. Of course, I was a Marketing rep for the Title Company and didn’t have the time pressure placed on the escrow closer. The savvy FSBO would come into the Title Company early and often to ask questions about the process of closing the sale and to find out about their duties with respect to the buyer.
Those seller's duties have mounted over the years since I left the Title Company, especially when the Oregon legislature passed a law in 1993 requiring most residential property owners to give the buyer a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. If the seller fails to give the buyer a Property Disclosure Statement, the buyer has the right to revoke his or her offer at any time before the sale closes. ORS 105.473(3)-(4).
The Oregon Seller’s property disclosure law, ORS 105.462-105.490, does not apply to all residential sales. For instance, the law doesn’t apply to new condominium sales, since condominiums are covered under another Oregon law. Newly constructed and never occupied sales are also excluded from the law. Additionally excluded are court-appointed receivers, personal representatives, trustees, conservators, or guardians, government agencies, or financial institutions that have acquired the property as custodian, agent or trustee, or by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure. ORS 105.464.
The form itself is found in ORS 105.464, or you can purchase it from Steven’s Ness Law Publishing Company, Portland. Cooke’s Stationery on State Street should have the current form, but make sure that it is up to date.
While we don’t prepare the form for you, we can assist in helping you fill out the form as part of our service to Owner-sellers. The form should be carefully filled out and the “Yes, No, or Unknown,” boxes checked appropriately. There are also specific representations required for Earnest money agreements, like non-foreign person, Hazardous Materials, Woodstove removal, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you or someone that you know is contemplating selling a residence, please contact us for assistance. A few hours of attorney time paid up front could save thousands of dollars defending a misrepresentation lawsuit later.
Call me today (503) 363-7334 to discuss how you could potentially save thousands of dollars.