Real Estate Investing

Seller’s Disclosure and Net Sheets: Two Essential Documents When Buying or Selling Homes 

June 14, 2024

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Seller’s Disclosure and Net Sheets

When you’re selling your home, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in documents. The process can be difficult to navigate simply due to the sheer number of requirements and legal hoops you must jump through. 

However, understanding a seller disclosure document and your seller net sheet is a great place to start. Seller’s disclosures reveal a property’s condition, steering you clear of surprises and legal headaches, while a seller’s net sheet breaks down costs and estimated proceeds of the sale, giving you a clearer financial picture of the transaction’s financial impact. 

Seller’s Disclosures  

Buyers want to be as informed as possible when purchasing a home. For many, their first home is the biggest purchase they’ve ever made, and a smart consumer wants to be prepared when entering into that transaction. 

A seller’s disclosure is a document where sellers disclose to buyers all known information about the property and its condition. While the information disclosed can sometimes be unsavory, it is still in the seller’s best interest to provide this information to prospective occupants. This legal document protects sellers from being sued by the buyer post-move-in if they encounter a defect. Keep in mind that many states require this disclosure, so it protects both the buyer and the seller from future legal issues. 

Contents and Disclosure Requirements of Seller’s Disclosures 

What is traditionally included in a seller’s disclosure sheet? Different states will have different disclosure requirements, so be sure to check what exactly you must disclose based on your state’s laws. There is at least one federally mandated disclosure requirement: sellers must disclose lead-based paint hazards for all properties built before 1978. Seller’s disclosure forms can be acquired by a real estate attorney or your agent, both of whom likely have more intimate knowledge about the area’s local laws. 

Generally, sellers’ disclosures will list a series of issues that the seller must check off to note whether the home has encountered them, including lead paint, structural defects, or a death in the home. The seller could also be required to list the appliances that are included within the property or go into further detail about an issue that has been resolved in the past, such as mold remediation treatment. 

Common health- and safety-related disclosures include: 

  • Water damage, mold, and mildew 
  • Structural/foundation issues 
  • Pest infestations (e.g., termites) 
  • Asbestos 
  • Lead paint 
  • Radon 
  • Damaged appliances or internal systems 

It’s important to note that the seller’s property disclosure is based on the seller’s personal knowledge about the property. There is usually no need to hire an inspector to complete this form, as the buyer will typically have a home inspection of their own conducted before purchase. Your information could be based on what you heard from previous sellers or inspectors throughout your time living in the home. 

Types and Legal Considerations of Seller Disclosure Form 

As previously explained, the specific required disclosures vary by state. However, there are a few common disclosures that sellers are typically asked to explain. 

Since safety is one of the top concerns for buyers, health- and safety-related disclosures like the ones listed above are among the most common. Any damage, hazards, or faulty systems in the home will have to be disclosed. 

Major repairs may have to be disclosed as well. Sellers could be asked to explain why the repair was needed, when it was fixed, how it was fixed, and how likely they are to need to monitor or repair the issue in the future. 

If you live within an HOA, you may have to disclose that to a prospective buyer. Also, any property line disputes or current lines are likely necessary to tell the incoming occupant. Occasionally, certain nuisances must also be reported. These may include proximity to airports, landfills, military bases, or shooting ranges. 

If you’re unsure about what disclosures are required in your state, get in contact with a real estate attorney or acquire a template of your state’s seller disclosure form. They are straightforward to fill out and will guide you through all necessary requirements. 

Seller Net Sheets 

The process of property ownership transfer includes many documents, one of which is the seller’s net sheet. Fortunately, seller net sheets are not legally complicated or binding. This helpful sheet will list out all the closing costs the seller will pay as well as an estimate of the amount they will receive once the transaction is completed. 

Why is a seller net sheet necessary? Think of this document as a sort of income statement or worksheet made with estimated numbers and figures. The idea is to give the seller an idea of how much they will profit or earn from this property sale. Real estate agents often share updated net sheets with each offer received for comparison, ensuring sellers stay informed throughout the sales process. 

Preparation, Timing, and Accuracy of Seller Net Sheets in Real Estate Transactions 

In many cases, the seller net sheet is prepared by your broker or real estate agent. When first discussing the sale, the numbers will be approximated. However, as the process continues, they will likely update the sheet with more accurate figures. Attorneys or accountants can also help you prepare a seller net sheet if you are not working with a real estate agent. 

As for timing, the best revisions occur with each offer the seller receives. These sheets can help the seller visualize the difference between each offer and what they stand to gain from them. 

When preparing a seller net sheet, the preparer will ensure accuracy by calculating all expenses and deductions involved in the property transaction. They will take factors like mortgage payoff, closing costs, agent commissions, concessions, and repair costs into account. It’s also important for them to consider all potential expenses, including property taxes, HOA dues, and title insurance premiums, for a comprehensive overview. 


As a buyer or seller in the real estate market, understanding seller’s disclosures and net sheets is essential for making informed decisions and protecting your interests.  

Seller’s disclosures provide crucial information about a property’s condition, while seller’s net sheets break down costs and estimated proceeds. 

By familiarizing yourself with these documents, you can navigate the real estate transaction process confidently, minimize surprises, and maximize your financial gains.

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