Real Estate Property Disclosure

By: Austin Lansing

In real estate transactions there is a stage known as "disclosure." First time home buyers may not be familiar with the term but anyone who has purchased real estate in the past should be well acquainted with this step of buying or selling. Essentially the process of disclosure is the step wherein the seller of the property "discloses" any issues with the property as it is. Now this can apply to a pretty wide range of things from issues with the actual home to problems with the neighborhood to things that have occurred in the home in the past. Either way, sellers are required by law to disclose all of these things when selling their home.

Let's have a look at some things that would need to be included on the disclosure paperwork for a home. The most common things you will find in a property disclosure are issues with the home itself. Let's say there was a fire a few years back and an area of the home was rebuilt. Or perhaps at one point the basement flooded and there was resulting rot or water damage. Termite or insect damage must also be noted as well as any other issues in relation to the home or it's integral systems.

There are other things that should be included in the disclosure statement as well. Sometimes things like a particularly noisy neighborhood dog, or problem neighbors. Also there is usually a section that deals with the title to the home itself. If there are any claims to the title such as liens or easements, they must be noted in detail. Another things that should be detailed is any common property that is shared with adjoining properties. Something that has become more of a concern in recent years is whether or not the home was ever utilized in any sort of drug operation. This is not saying that the current seller was involved in said activities, merely that if the home has been used for such purpose in the past it must be disclosed.

Failure to disclose information on the home that is important to buyers is punishable by law. As the property seller you have a responsibility to be honest and scrupulous in your disclosure regarding any property. Failure to do so can result in big trouble.

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