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What Must the Seller Disclose About the House?


By Relocation.com Staff

The seller is bound by law to disclose certain information about the house they placed on the market. Most but not all states require disclosure. The seller is required to disclose any latent material defects. This essentially means that the seller must disclose whether the property has any hidden defects or problems that could adversely affect the value of the property. The most recent federal rule passed regarding disclosure relates to the requirement by the seller to disclose the presence of lead based paint in home built before 1978.

A seller's disclosure form may be required to be completed depending on the state or area you live in. If it is not required by law, you can ask the seller to complete it anyway. Basically, the form asks the seller to disclose any problems with the roof, pests, structure, basement, attic, heating, cooling and toxic substance. Examples of toxic substances are lead-based paint, asbestos and radon. To find out more information on the specific requirements in your area, talk to your attorney.

A seller's disclosure is not a home warranty. A warranty is a guarantee that a product will function for a specified period of time. Some new homes come with a warranty and all homes come with an implied warranty. A warranty on a property should include what is covered and for what length of time. A warranty should also include what is not covered, any limitations on damages and how to file a claim. When filling out a seller's disclosure form, the seller needs to be specific and precise. For example, if the home has lead base paint in some rooms, the rooms should be listed and if the basement floods, details on the frequency and the level of flooding should be provided.

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