Real Estate Terms: Property Disclosure Statement (PDS)
If you’re buying or selling real estate in British Columbia, you’ve most likely encountered a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS). It’s an important document for everyone. It is one of the steps of the property selling process that is designed to keep bad surprises and misunderstandings from happening between parties. This is all in hopes of protecting the Buyers, Sellers and Realtors involved.
Disclosure is a huge thing in real estate, period. The PDS is a multi page document that clearly asks a series of questions about the use, potential use and condition of the property. The Seller is required to answer these questions honestly to the best of their knowledge and to sign it. They fill this out at the time of listing so it is on file for when there is serious interest in the property from a Buyer. Generally speaking, an offer will include a subject clause that requires review and approval of this document or sometimes it will simply be built into the contract. Sometimes both, but regardless of what the contractual voodoo is, the document needs to be handled correctly by all parties. This means that the Seller must be forthcoming with the info (there is a certain art to being honest without being alarming) and the Buyer must make sure that they review the document and make any inquiries that arise from it. Usually things are pretty straightforward but sometimes there are things found that are more… interesting.
I will include a screenshot of one page of one of these documents here. Be aware that it is not the whole document and that it is an ever evolving document that is part of an ever evolving process. Things like this are constantly changing in our business due to changes in legislation, significant court cases, technology to name just a few factors.
And for a little context to the document from a Buyer’s perspective you might want to review this post on The Basics of Buying Real Estate in B.C. as well.