Frequently Asked Questions
What we do here at Vilaggio
Vilaggio does many of the same things other sites do with some important and innovative exceptions.
1: We allow buyers and sellers to use our site to conduct a real estate transaction 100% FREE. No other website does this, there is always a hidden fee or a catch somewhere.
2: We are the only website in existence today that allows buyers to submit a legal and biding offer to a seller in the form of a Real Estate contract digitally through our portal. Once an offer is made through the portal the seller can accept, reject or counter-offer, again all done online. The buyer than has the same ability. There are no limits to counter offers and the process ends when either party either accepts or rejects the offer.
3: We put the buyers and sellers in complete control over their transaction. No agents persuading them to make on offer, increase an offer price or reduce the sale price of the home. We feel buyers and sellers are intelligent enough to decide for themselves.
Vilaggio was built for consumers. It was designed for consumers to easily work with one another to reduce the excessive fees charged by real estate companies. We do offer assistance at a fraction of the cost but you decide if you want additional assistance.
Vilaggio has included all the information a person needs to be educated in all facets of this process. Explore the site and you’ll find some useful information. We also offer “How To” guides at a small cost. The guides easily pay for themselves.
Should a Buyer use the site if the home is listed with an agent?
The short answer is yes.
The site was designed to assist you with a real estate purchase saving you thousands of dollars.
IMPORTANT: The listing agent represensents the seller and any and all agents assisitng you also represent the seller unless specifiid in writing or hired by you as a buyers agent. The are in a fiduciary relationship with the seller, they owe the buyer honest and fair dealing.
By using the site you eliminate one agency (Agent) and the monies (%) they would have been paid (50% of the listing commision in most cases.) can be utilized by you for negotiations.
Should I post my home for sale if the home is listed with an agent?
That is up to you. Depending on what type of listing agreement you have with the agent determines who gets paid. If the agent has an “Exclusive” they will have earned the lisitng fee regardless of who sells the home.
By using the site you expose the home to more potential buyers.
You may be able to modify your agreement with the agent whereby if they sell the home the fee is due; and if you sell the home no fee is owed to anyone. This allows you more control and flexibility in the sale of your home. If the agent refuses you do have the option to cancel your lisiting.
If your listing expires you should add the home to the site to continue to market it for free.
Do I Need to Register?
All the information listed on the site is free. In order to list a property or make an offer you must be registered.
Are There Any Federal Laws I Need to Comply With?
If the house you are selling was built before 1978, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 requires you to:
Tell the buyers about any lead-based paint or related hazards in the house
Give buyers 10 days to test the house for lead
Provide buyers with a the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pamphlet entitled Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
Include warnings set forth in the law in the sale contract
Obtain signed statements from all parties involved verifying compliance with all legal requirements
Keep the signed acknowledgments for three years as proof that you followed the law
As a Seller Do I Have To Search For Problems?
In most states, property owners only have to make real estate disclosures for problems they’re aware of. That means that you generally don’t need to hire someone to inspect your property. Some states, however, have stricter requirements, and will identify specific problems that you are responsible to search for (e.g., termite damage). A few states, like California, have extremely detailed disclosure requirements, so search for the laws in your state and always consider consulting with a lawyer or real estate expert.
As a Seller Do I Need to Repair Problems I've Identified?
No, you only need to disclose them. You can let someone else deal with the hassle and potential costs of repair. The issues in your disclosures could affect the valuation that a buyer or appraiser places on your property, however, so it may be worth it to make fixes where appropriate. Safety issues always need to be repaired by the seller.
As A Buyer Should I Hire Someone to Inspect the Property?
Even though most states don’t require it, it can be helpful to do so. If there are problems down the road, you can often rely on the inspector’s report in claiming that you didn’t know of a problem when you made your real estate disclosures. Inspections can be a double edged sword however, since once the inspector brings a problem to your attention, there’s a good chance you’ll have to disclose it if it could affect the value of the property. Still, there’s a strong value in certainty, and getting an inspection can save you from a potential nightmare in the future
What is a disclosure?
Disclosure statements, which can come in a variety of forms, are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s experience in it.
Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of leaky windows to work done without the benefit of a permit, to information about a major construction or development project nearby.
Not only do disclosure documents serve to inform buyers, but they can also protect the sellers from future legal action. It is the seller’s chance to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the property.
What do Sellers Disclose to Potential Buyers?
Previous improvements, renovations or upgrades done by sellers are typical disclosures, as well as whether work was done with or without permits.
Buyers should cross check the seller’s disclosures with the city building permit and zoning reports. Work completed without a permit, or approval by the municipality, may not have been performed to code, which could result in a fire or health hazard.
Other standard disclosures include the existence of pets, termite problems, neighborhood nuisances, any history of property line disputes, and defects or malfunctions with major systems or appliances. Disclosure documents often ask sellers if they are involved in bankruptcy proceedings, if there any liens on the property, and so on.
What the Seller Must Disclose
Generally, you are responsible for disclosing only information within your personal knowledge. In other words, you don’t usually need to hire inspectors to turn up problems you were never aware existed.
Some states require more. However, some states’ laws identify certain problems that are your responsibility to search for, whether you see signs of the problem or not. In these cases, or where you could have seen a particular defect but turned a blind eye, you could ultimately end up in court, compensating the buyer for the costs of your failure to speak up sooner.
California’s Stringent Disclosure Requirements:
California sellers must fill out and give the buyers a disclosure form listing a broad range of defects — such as a leaky roof, deaths that occurred within three years on the property, neighborhood nuisances such as a dog that barks every night, and more. In addition, California sellers must disclose potential hazards from floods, earthquakes, fires, environmental hazards, and other problems, in a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. California sellers must also alert buyers to the availability of a database maintained by law enforcement authorities on the location of registered sex offenders.
Consider getting an inspection. While it’s not usually required, some sellers hire a property inspector to look things over before they put the house on the market. (See Home Inspections: A Crucial Step.) The results will help you determine what items or house features need repair or replacement and will assist you with preparing any required disclosures. An inspection report is also useful in pricing your house and negotiating with prospective buyers.
Err on the side of disclosure. If you have even the faintest question about whether or not to disclose something to potential buyers, avoid the potential for liability and tell all. Full disclosure of any property defects will help increase the buyer’s confidence that you’re dealing fairly. And it will protect you from legal problems later, such as buyers who want out of the deal or who claim damages suffered because you carelessly or intentionally withheld information about your property.
And remember, just because you disclose a problem doesn’t mean you must repair or correct it. The buyers have an interest in getting the deal closed as well, and often overlook minor issues. Or, the disclosed item can become a point of negotiation between you and your buyer.
Disclose lead-based paint and hazards. If you are selling a house built before 1978, you must comply with a federal law called the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (U.S. Code § 4852d), also known as Title X. You must:
disclose all known lead-based paint and hazards in the house
give buyers a pamphlet prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home
include certain warning language in the contract as well as signed statements from all parties verifying that all requirements were completed
keep signed acknowledgements for three years as proof of compliance, and
give buyers a ten-day opportunity to test the house for lead.
If you fail to comply with Title X requirements, the buyer can sue you for triple the amount of damages suffered.
Is a Disclosure the same as an Inspection?
Disclosure is something given to the buyer by the seller documenting their knowledge of the property. It is not the same thing as an independent inspection by a third party. An examination may reveal defects that the seller may not have been aware of.
The buyer should always do a full property inspection, before moving forward with the purchase. The inspector checks all systems and components from the roof to the basement. Often, in the interest of the ultimate in full disclosure, a seller hires a property inspector before going on the market and supplies the written report to the buyer.
How does a seller make a disclosure to the buyer?
Generally in writing but disclosure laws vary from state to state, even down to the city and county level. California has some of the most stringent disclosure requirements. The law requires that sellers (and their agents) complete or sign off on dozens of documents, such as a Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement, Local and State Transfer Disclosure Statements, Advisories about Market Conditions and even Megan’s Law Disclosures.
Disclosure typically comes in the form of boilerplate documents (put together by the local or state real estate association), where the seller answers a series of yes/no questions about their home and their experience there.
Additionally, sellers must present any documented communication (between neighbors, previous owners, the seller or the agents) about a substantial defect or item that could have an adverse impact on value.
Depending on where you live, sellers can be on the hook for what they disclose (or fail to) for up to 10 years. Sellers should err on the side of caution. If you know it, put it out there. If you try to hide something, it can come back to haunt you in the form of an expensive lawsuit.
Do I Need An Attorney?
The short answer is no. If you live in a state where buyers and sellers use attorneys in a normal course for business for a real estate purchase transaction, then we recommend your hire an attorney.