What are Real Estate Disclosures?

Real Estate Disclosures

A real estate disclosure, or a Residential Property Disclosure as it is called in Ohio, can be defined as a document that accurately describes the condition of a property.

In Ohio, sellers are required to give a real estate disclosure to buyers during almost all residential sales. The seller usually fills out the disclosure when they fill out all the required listing paperwork. Completion of the document helps inform the buyers about the condition of the home past and present. When the seller includes accurate information in the report they avoid the possibility of expensive lawsuits in the future.

TheResidential Property Disclosure is a form with questions, check boxes, and some spaces for sellers to provide further written details. The questions are about the integrity of the structure and its interior systems, including questions about known environmental hazards. Any items that are not in working order or make the property unsafe must be disclosed.

In some cases, a real estate disclosure is not necessary. For example, if the property is a foreclosure, transfers directly between owners (such as during a divorce or upon inheritance), or when a property is transferred to or from any governmental agency. An exemption from the Residential Property Disclosure is needed at these times.

When a home is sold “as is” there is often still a real estate disclosure document, however, the buyer signs a statement, addendum, and counter that he or she is purchasing the home with those defects and agrees not to request any repairs as part of the condition of sale.

Because a Residential Property Disclosure offers information about issues that may go otherwise unnoticed, buyers have a right to rescind the purchase contract after receiving the disclosure form, if the rescission is before closing, within 30 days of signing the purchase contract, and within three days of receiving the form itself.

In addition to the real estate disclosure, buyers should have all recommended inspections with a copy of the inspection reports. Buyers may also want consider purchasing a home warranty. Sellers may consider purchasing a home warranty to sweeten the terms of the sale. Disclosures, inspections, and home warranties all contribute to peace of mind for both buyers and sellers during their real estate transactions.

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