Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


"My bank balance is none of the seller's business!" Um, maybe it is!

It's not unusual for people to be somewhat protective when it comes to personal information.  Still, when it's time to make an offer on a Washington area house, you may have to give it up. 

It's the custom in this area to provide the sellers and their agent with a letter from the lender you plan to use saying that, after checking your credit, employment and assets, you will be able to obtain a mortgage and complete the transaction.  In addition, most agents will insist that you include a financial information disclosure with a lot of the details surrounding your earnings, readily available liquid assets, debts, and other things you might feel reluctant to provide.

The purpose of the financial disclosure is to give the sellers some assurance that you will, in fact, be able to complete the purchase of their house.  And how you fill out this disclosure should depend on the details of your particular situation.

In most cases, you want to be careful not to overstate your assets or to understate your liabilities. 

But do you have to disclose all of your assets?  The basic answer is no.  If you just won the Powerball and are making a low-ish ball offer, you may not want the sellers to know that you are able to pay the asking price and then some.  But if you are involved in a bidding war for your dream house, you may want to show your entire hand. 

While home buyers may be concerned about protecting your assets, when they are buying a house, they are asking the sellers to take one of their major assets off the market.  And if, for some reason, you can't pull everything together in time to reach the settlement table, it could spell disaster for the sellers.  And the basic purpose of the financial disclosures are to give them a comfort level. 


 If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help!  I am licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  Email me at, or call 202-549-5167




Comment balloon 12 commentsPatricia Kennedy • November 29 2012 08:42PM
"My bank balance is none of the seller's business! " Um,…
It's not unusual for people to be somewhat protective when it comes to personal information. Still, when it's time to make an offer on a Washington area house, you may have to give it up. It's the custom in this area to provide the sellers… more
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