Curious about the Form 17? Check out my in-depth Form 17 Explained blog post. For a summary version…
Here in Washington, as in many states, the law requires sellers of real property to tell the buyer in writing about all known defects (a few types of sellers are excluded, like the PR of an estate). The law calls this a Seller Disclosure Statement. However, the NWMLS form used by pretty much everyone is called the Form 17.
Click here for a my own, free version of the “Form 17,” which works just as well. The statue sets out the specific terms, and both the actual NWMLS Form 17 and mine essentially track it. They included an “n/a” box, I did not because the law doesn’t say there should be one. In any event, mine is free and easy to download.
Upon receipt of the signed statement, the buyer has three days to rescind the contract and walk away from the purchase (with a full return of the earnest money, of course). If a seller fails to complete the form accurately, the buyer may have a claim for the cost to cure the undisclosed defect. So the more accurately a seller completes the form, the less exposure to potential liability to the buyer after closing.