Pennsylvania’s Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law requires sellers to reveal material information about their properties. When negotiating residential property prices, buyers have a right to learn about known material defects.
As noted by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, sellers must provide a signed and dated copy of a property disclosure statement. A potential buyer must receive the disclosure document and have time to review it. A buyer may otherwise not agree to complete the transaction.
Information contained in a seller’s disclosure statement
Sellers need to disclose the dates they occupied their properties. Statements must also provide information about a property’s construction, engineering or architecture. If an owner made improvements or structural changes, the property disclosure form must describe them.
Disclosure statements must include information related to roofing and structural problems. The disclosure should include issues such as leaks or termites. Buyers need to know about defects concerning basements, crawl spaces and water damage. Issues with plumbing and sewage systems also require disclosure. Buyers have a right to know about problems with HVAC and electrical systems.
Disclosure of harmful substances
Sellers must disclose hazardous chemicals or toxic substances related to their properties. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires sellers to disclose whether their properties contain harmful lead-based paint. Both buyers and sellers of properties constructed before 1978 may provide signed documents certifying that they understand that the properties contain lead paint.
Bankrate.com reports that condo sellers only need to disclose material defects within their individual units. Buyers do not need to receive statements about a shared building’s common areas. Purchasers may ask, however, to review information about a nearby unit’s damages or future developments that may increase their expenses.