How To Deal With Real Estate Disclosure Requirements

27 February 2020
 Categories: Law, Blog


Few legal matters in the world of real estate are as critical as disclosures. When a property is sold or transferred, the seller must disclose what may be wrong with the land, the building, and even the history of the site. Similar concerns also apply when a property is used as collateral, mortgaged, or put up for a lien. This makes real estate attorney services very important for a lot of folks.

Disclosure requirements can vary among jurisdictions locally and by state. It's wise to know a bit about these three issues involving disclosures.

What Has to Be Disclosed?

Almost anything that might harm whoever is buying the property or assuming an interest in it has to be disclosed. Some states are highly specific about disclosures, and most counties have detailed records about properties. For example, if a property is located on top of a reclaimed toxic waste dump, that's something an acquiring party deserves to know. That applies even if the site has been fully certified as safe for use just in case something might have been missed during the clean-up process.

Commonly Required Disclosures

Health hazards almost always have to be disclosed, potentially even ones that are in the past. If a building requires asbestos or lead remediation, for example, that should be disclosed. Similar rules typically apply to if a property is in a flood plain, if there are nearby industrial or agricultural operations, and if there has been water damage. In seismically active states like California, information about the rate and impact of seismic activity at the property may require disclosure, too.

General information about the arrangements governing the property ought to be revealed to buyers. For example, if the property is governed by a homeowners' association, someone is going to want to know that.

It's always prudent to consult with a real estate attorney. They can help you determine which laws apply in your area.

How to Disclose Information

Generally, if you have the opportunity to convey information to someone else about a property, you're obligated to provide disclosure. This means a website listing, for example, needs to include disclosures. Many sellers also print up flyers they can hand to prospective buyers so they can outline the disclosures without getting into a long conversation about it. Whenever you publish a disclosure, whether digital or print, have it reviewed by a real estate attorney.

To learn more, contact a resource like Souders Law Group.