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What are sellers required to disclose to buyers?

During the process of selling and purchasing a home, certain disclosures can be made. If they are not, buyers can suffer significant damages they may not be aware of until down the road which is why they should be familiar with what needs to be disclosed and the legal remedies that may be available to them when required disclosures are not made.

Property conditions that require disclosure

There are several property conditions that sellers should also ensure they disclose including:

  • Lead-based paint – lead-based paint disclosures are required under federal law and homes built before 1978 require that parties to the transaction sign a form confirming the disclosure.
  • Property drainage issues – property drainage issues such as flooding basements need to be disclosed to the buyer.
  • Boundary and neighbor disputes – boundary disputes or issues with neighbors, such as a fence that is a foot onto the neighbor’s property, need to be disclosed.
  • Pests – pest infestations usually must be disclosed whether they are snakes, mice, bats or other infestations.

Paranormal activity and emotional defects, such as a murder, suicide or violent crime that occurred on the property, may also need to be disclosed. Time limits may be associated with this type of disclosure. In general, sellers and others are required to disclose property hazards and known defects on the property and a reasonable inspection of the property should be performed.

In addition to buyers, sellers and others who thought they made all required disclosures need to know how to protect themselves in the event of a nondisclosure claim. When required disclosures are not made, and buyers suffer damages as a result, just compensation may be due to the buyers which is a legal remedy buyers and sellers alike should be familiar with.