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What is a seller obliged to disclose to potential homebuyers?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | blog, Real Estate Transactions |

When selling a home in Pennsylvania, sellers must be aware of their responsibilities. Disclosing pertinent information about the home and property to potential buyers is important both ethically and legally.

Understanding what to disclose can help ensure a transparent and smooth real estate transaction.

Material defects

State law mandates that sellers disclose any material defects in the property. This includes issues that could substantially affect the property’s value or pose potential safety hazards. Sellers should openly communicate about structural problems, water damage issues with the roof or foundation and other significant concerns that may impact the buyer’s decision.

Environmental hazards

Sellers must disclose information regarding environmental hazards on or near the property. This includes details about radon levels, lead-based paint, asbestos or any other hazardous substances. Being transparent about these potential risks ensures that buyers can make informed decisions regarding the property.

Previous work

Sellers must also disclose any previous repairs or renovations conducted on the property. This encompasses not only recent renovations but also any historical work done. Whether it is a new roof, updated plumbing or a repaired foundation, buyers have the right to know about the property’s maintenance and improvement history.

Legal issues

Disclosures must extend to any legal issues related to the property. This includes ongoing disputes, property line disagreements or any violations of local zoning laws. Sellers must inform buyers about any potential legal challenges associated with the property they are considering purchasing.

Water and sewer systems

Details about the water and sewer systems are also important disclosures. Sellers should inform buyers about the source of water, the condition of the well or public water supply and any known issues with the septic system. Providing accurate information about these key components helps buyers evaluate the property’s suitability for their needs.

Adhering to these disclosure requirements promotes trust and fairness in the home-selling process.