Selling a house is never a piece of cake, but our real estate disclosure form will make it easier for you. Read on for our free sample and must-know tips.
When grandpa and grandma were buying their first home dream, they had to learn a Latin word: "caveat emptor" which translates to "let the buyer aware". Real estate disclosure was not required or even mentioned much in those days. Real estate was sold "as-is" and it was up to the buyer to unearth all the flaws and hidden skeletons.
Fast forward to today and the tables have turned - "Let the seller beware" has become the new pet phrase. Nowadays real estate disclosure forms (also known as home sellers disclosure form) are often bundled with the Real Estate Purchase Contract - Meaning that the seller may well have to reveal all known physical defects, natural hazards, legal liabilities and even ghost stories.
1. "Do I need to fill in real estate disclosure forms?" - The answer is Yes for these 32 states:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Regardless of which state you are in, lead paint disclosure is a must if you are selling residential properties built before 1978 - Click here for our Lead Paint Disclosure Form and Pamphlet.
2. "What are the uglies that I am required to expose in a real estate disclosure form?"
The answers are all found in the real estate disclosure laws for your state. The state laws can be anything from a short list of loose guidelines to strict, specific rules running into tens of pages. Despite the vast differences, the general rule of thumb is that you are only responsible for problems within your personal knowledge. What you don't know, you don't have to disclose.
*Make sure this free real estate disclosure statement complies with your local real estate laws before using it. If you have any doubts, you can ask a real estate lawyer online.
This statement is a disclosure of the Seller's current knowledge of the property's condition. This is not a warranty of any kind by the Seller and is not a substitute for any professional inspections or warranties that the Buyer may wish to obtain.
Property Address: ______________________________________________________________
Are you aware of any defects / problems with the following items? (Fill in Y - Yes, N - No or N/A)
HOME FIXTURES / EXTERIOR
[ ] Interior Walls
[ ] Exterior Walls
[ ] Ceiling
[ ] Flooring
[ ] Doors
[ ] Windows
[ ] Basement
[ ] Roofing
[ ] Porch / Deck
[ ] Driveway
[ ] Fences / Boundary Walls
[ ] Sidewalks
[ ] Electrical Switches and Outlets
[ ] Light Fixtures
[ ] Ceiling Fans
[ ] Telephone Jacks and Wiring
[ ] Smoke Alarm(s)
[ ] Burglar Alarm
[ ] Garage Door Opener(s)
[ ] Central Vacuum
[ ] Intercom
[ ] TV Antenna / Satellite Dish
WATER / SEWERAGE SYSTEM
[ ] Plumbing System
[ ] Sewerage System
[ ] Taps / Sinks
[ ] Shower(s)
[ ] Bath Tub(s)
[ ] Washer / Dryer Hookups
[ ] Rain Gutters
[ ] Lawn Sprinklers
[ ] Cistern / Water Storage
[ ] Water Purifier
[ ] Pool
[ ] Pool Equipment
[ ] Well and Pump
HEATING / COOLING SYSTEM
[ ] Central Air Conditioning
[ ] Central Heating
[ ] Gas Fixtures
[ ] Furnace Heater
[ ] Solar Heater
[ ] Wood Stove Heater
[ ] Water Heater(s)
[ ] Fireplace
[ ] Refrigerator
[ ] Range / Cooking Stove / Oven
[ ] Microwave
[ ] Dishwasher
[ ] Room / Portable Air Conditioner
[ ] Air Purifier
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, please provide further explanations and information (You may also attach additional information to this form):
Are you aware of any of the following issues with the property? (Fill in Y - Yes, N - No or N/A)
[ ] Environmental hazards including but not limited to lead-based paint, asbestos, radon gas, methane gas, formaldehyde, fuel / chemical storage tanks or contaminated water / soil.
[ ] Water seepage, leakage, flooding or water damage.
[ ] Property damage resulting from floods, earthquake, landslides or fire.
[ ] Drainage, grading or soil stability problems.
[ ] Present infestation of wood-destroying organisms or damage from past infestation.
[ ] Room additions, structural modifications, repairs or alterations made without the required permits.
[ ] Violation of building codes, zoning laws or land-use restrictions.
[ ] Commercial, industrial, military noise or pollution that may affect the property.
[ ] Lawsuits, foreclosures, bankruptcy, liens, government notices or lease agreements that may affect the property.
[ ] Items shared in common with adjoining owners including but not limited to walls, fences and / or driveways, with joint rights for use and joint obligations for maintenance.
[ ] Any common area including pools, tennis courts, walkways or other areas co-owned in undivided interest with others.
[ ] Property is subject to the conditions or restrictions of a home owner's association.
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, please provide further explanations and information (You may also attach additional information to this real estate disclosure form):
The Seller hereby certifies that the information provided in this real estate disclosure form is true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge as of the date signed. Should any of the above conditions change before the property title is conveyed, these changes shall be disclosed to the Buyer in addendum to this document.
Seller Name: ______________________________
Seller Signature: ______________________________ Date: _______________
Buyer Name: ______________________________
Buyer Signature: ______________________________ Date: _______________