If you’ve never sold a home before, you may be unfamiliar with real estate disclosures. Also known as a Residential Property Disclosure, this is a legally binding document filled out by sellers for buyers to review. It is required by the state of Ohio in almost all residential sales and is typically completed with all other listing paperwork.
First-time sellers probably have a lot of questions about this document. Here are a few things you need to know. Also, remember that one of our expert agents will help you every step of the way during your home sale!
What is a Residential Property Disclosure?
A Residential Property Disclosure or real estate disclosure is a form that accurately describes the condition of a property. It includes questions, checkboxes, and spaces for sellers to provide further detail. The questions are about the integrity of the structure and its interior systems.
What is the purpose of a Residential Property Disclosure?
A Residential Property Disclosure is important because it provides details about a property. The document’s purpose is to alert potential homeowners to any known problems with the house. Buyers have the right to know what they are purchasing, so almost all sellers are required to fill out this form.
What needs to be included?
Any items that are not in working order or that make the property unsafe must be disclosed. However, Ohio disclosure law requires sellers to only disclose items they are aware of. You will not need an inspection to complete the form, only your knowledge of the property. This includes things like neighborhood nuisances, safety hazards, water damage, and anything that has needed repairs.
When is it necessary?
Ohio law requires sellers to fill out a real estate disclosure. There are certain circumstances, however, where it is not needed. For example, when a property is a foreclosure, is being transferred directly between owners, or when a property is transferred to or from a governmental agency. These are some instances where a real estate disclosure is not necessary. If you are confused about whether you need to fill one out, ask your REALTOR!
What happens if a seller lies on the Property Disclosure?
You do not want to lie on a real estate disclosure. Sellers who willfully cover up information about their property can be sued and even convicted of a crime. Also, because a residential property disclosure offers information about issues that can go unnoticed, buyers can rescind their contract after receiving the form. However, the rescission must be before closing, within 30 days of signing the purchase contract, and within three days of receiving the form itself.
If you have any questions or concerns about completing your own real estate disclosures, you can always talk to one of our REALTORS. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!