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Seller Disclosures

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8 Must Have Seller Disclosures

If a Seller willfully conceals information, they could be convicted of fraud in addition to being sued. Selling the property “as is” does not exempt anyone from these disclosures.

Death in the Home

A seller is required to disclose deaths related to the condition of the property or violent crimes.

Neighborhood Nuisances

A nuisance is a noise or odor from a source outside the property that could irritate the property’s occupants.

Sellers should disclose farms, farm operations, landfills, airports, shooting ranges and other nuisances in the vicinity,

Environmental and Natural Hazards

Sellers should disclose the presence of hazardous or toxic waste, asbestos, urea-formaldehyde insulation, radon gas, lead-based paint or plumbing and previous use of the premises for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Whether the property is located in a flood plain, wetland or agricultural district; whether it has ever been a landfill site; if there have ever been fuel-storage tanks above or below ground on the property.

Whether the property is in a seismic hazard zone and could therefore be subject to liquefaction or landslides after an earthquake.

Repairs

What have you repaired and why? Buyers need to know the home’s repair history so they can have their home inspector pay extra attention to problem areas and be aware of probable future issues.

Previous structural or roof repairs; landfill, settling, soil movement or fault lines, easements; and defects or malfunctions in walls, the roof, fences, the foundation, floors, sidewalks and any other current or previous problems affecting the home’s structural integrity.

Electrical or plumbing repairs and any other problems you would want to know about if you were going to buy the home and live in it.

Water Damage

Water damage can undermine the home’s structure and even create a health hazard if it encourages mold growth. Sellers should disclose past or present leaks or water damage.

Disclose evidence of water in a basement or crawl space, roof leaks, major damage from floods, the type of plumbing system (e.g., galvanized, copper, other) and any known plumbing problems.

Homeowners' Association Information

If the home is governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA) Sellers should disclose that fact. You also need to know about the HOA’s financial health and obtain this information from the Seller so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.

Missing Items

Sometimes Buyers have so much on their minds that they might not notice that a home is missing an essential component until after they purchase the property.

Sellers should disclose whether the property comes with a long list of items, including kitchen appliances, central air conditioning and heating, rain gutters, exhaust fans and water heaters.

Other Possible Disclosures

Buyers should know if the home is in a special historic district because it will affect their ability to make repairs and alterations, and it might also increase the cost of those activities.

Sellers should disclose active termites or other wood-destroying insects, termite or wood-rot damage in need of repair, previous termite damage and previous termite treatment; any history of infestation.

Sellers may also be required to disclose problems with drainage or grading, zoning, pending litigation, changes made without permits, boundary disputes and easement.

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