A Sellers Property Disclosure Statement Form

What makes up a seller's property disclosure statement form?

1 Answer

Most state statutes require home owners to complete a property disclosure form that informs potential buyers of material facts about the house they are selling. Material facts consist of details about the structural condition and present legal status of the house. General material facts include:

  • The age of the house and its individual components

  • Problems associated with components

  • Structural defects of the property

  • Encroachments (where someone has built on another's property line)

  • Lawsuits or claims affecting ownership-i.e., a sibling or former spouse who has not relinquished ownership rights

The precise questions contained in property disclosure forms vary from state to state, but they generally cover the same basic topics, such as:

  • Leaks in the roof or foundation walls

  • Existing mold or mildew within the home

  • Damage caused by wood-destroying insects

  • Problems with the plumbing system

  • Difficulties with sewer or septic systems

  • Condition of the heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems

  • Issues relating to the property's soils

  • Quality of draining

  • Amount of property taxes paid each year

  • Square footage of the home

  • A planned roadway that will be built ten feet from the home's front yard

  • The home is in an airport's routine flight path

  • Details about an individual who claims to possess an interest in the property

  • Information about a structure on the property that overlaps an adjacent property

  • An oil or gas tank is buried on the property

The following items are NOT considered material facts:

  • A seller's personal information, such as his age, job relocation, or divorce situation

  • The seller's reasons for relocating

  • Whether or not current or former inhabitants have HIV/AIDS

Some details may or may not be considered material facts. They include:

  • Information regarding a death that occurred in the home (This detail is probably not a material fact, even if it was a homicide. Check your state laws for specific information. Note that agents must answer truthfully if asked about deaths on the property.)

  • Rumors that a house is haunted (This is probably not a material fact.)

Property disclosure forms protect both the buyer and seller from any disagreements or manipulation in the sale of the home. All relevant details are contained in the documents, which are signed and notarized, to prevent any interested party from accusing another of fraud or deceit.