A seller’s disclosure form is an essential and crucial document in the home-selling process. Whether these are major or minor issues, you should disclose them to the form. These are mostly material defects in the sold property that could affect the buyer’s decision or the property’s quality or value. For the buyer’s side, it’s an important document that says all about the property they’re buying. Is it worth buying or not? Like most of the states, in Alaska, sellers need to complete a disclosure form so the buyer can see the issues of the house before they make an offer.
In Alaska, there are a few specific disclosure requirements you must be aware of. Remember, there are penalties charged for failure to disclosure properly.
If you are selling a property in Alaska, here are all the seller disclosure requirements you need to know:
- Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
- Seller’s Disclosure Statement
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act passed in 1992 requires the disclosure of any lead-based paint or chipped paint in any housing built prior to 1978.
Since it’s a federal requirement, Alaska homes built before the year 1978 should be legally disclosed to the new homeowner of any known chipped pint or lead-based paint that can harm the buyers. Your agent should provide an EPA-approved pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”, hand over a lead-based paint report and an attachment that contains Lead Warning Statement and documents that could help confirm the seller has complete the required federal requirements needed.
Within 10 days, the seller should conduct a risk assessment or paint inspection for lead-based paint hazard in the property. The seller and buyer can agree in writing if they want to skip the lead-based paint inspection or delay it. Also, sellers can hire a professional inspector and complete the certification beforehand to quickly sell the property. For safety purposes, the homebuyers may look for a lead hazard inspection firm through this link.
Seller’s Disclosure Statement
Like most of the home-selling process, you have to disclose property defects in the “State of Alaska Residential Property Transfer Disclosure Statement—a Seller’s Disclosure Statement. This is a required form that contains specific issues about the property. And as a seller, you need to expose and give any kind of information to the buyer. For instance, the disclosure asks about soil stability, permafrost, or freeze-ups in the property since Alaska is known more of its extremely cold weather.
Also, sellers are obliged to disclose any information about homicides or suicides that happened in the property within one year of the home’s showing. Other than that, you have to mention any problems such as noisy neighbors and pets, or traffic within the area.
So, what are the things required for disclosure to the buyer? As a seller and as the only source of all the information in this form, here are more statutory disclosure requirements details you are obliged to state:
Sellers should notify the buyer about defected or malfunctioned items on the property—whether they are built-in or will remain with the property. These are items such as oven, dishwasher, trash compactor, garbage disposal, intercom, central vacuum installed, hot tub, wood stove, attached/detached greenhouse, ventilating system, heating system, built-in barbecue, satellite dish, T.V. antenna, fire alarms, etc. You can also add comments or notes for clarifications to the new homeowners.
These are known defects, malfunctions, or any major repairs performed within the last five years. You should describe the said issues on the Addendum/Amendments to the disclosure. The following items such as driveways, crawl space, roof, patio, slabs, fences, rain gutters, exterior and interior walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, venting, wind generators, solar panels, electrical systems, water supply, garage, washer, humidifier, air conditioner, ventilator system, swimming pool, filtration, water heater, etc.
As a seller, you have to present some available documents for the subject property for review.
- Title Information
- As-Built Survey
- Deed Restrictions
- Engineer/Property/Home Inspection Report
- Written Agreements with Adjacent Property Owners
- PUR-101Resale Certificate
- Party Wall Agreement
- Soils Test
- Hazardous Materials Test
Here are the following property defects that you must also disclose to the best of your knowledge. The form will also ask if your property has been inspected by an engineer/home inspector in the last five years.
Drainage (water issues in crawl space, basement, or lower level, and other details)
Roof or other Leakage (what type: asphalt, cedar shake, built-up, metal, or other)
Fireplace and/or Woodstove (last cleaned and who the cleaner was)
Heating Systems (what type of system: wood stove, forced air, hot water baseboard, electrical heat, radiant heat, other)
Hot Water Heater (what type of system, age, and its capacity)
Water Supply (is it public, private, community, a cistern/water tank, other)
Sewer System (additional details and info.)
Average Annual Utility Costs (of your gas, electric, oil, propane, wood, coal, water, sewer, refuse, other, and its company/source)
Any Existing, Pending, or Potential Legal Actions Concerning the Property
Environmental Concerns (such as asbestos, formaldehyde, radon gas, lead-based paint, fuel or chemical storage tanks, contaminated soil, or by-product from the production of methamphetamines)
- Underground storage tanks
- Avalanche zone/Mudslide area
- Flood Zone
- Erosion Zone or Accretion
- Insurance Claim for any environmental damage
- Waste Disposal Site or Gravel Pit
Soil Stability (debris burial, permafrost or other soil problems, drainage or grading problems)
Construction, Improvements/Remodel (any room additions, structural modifications, or improvements)
Pest Control or Wood Destroying Organisms (termites, ants, insects, squirrels, vermin, rodents, etc.)
Noise (from trains, dogs, traffic, neighbors, etc.)
Others (murder or suicide within preceding 3 years, human burial sites, and other additional information that you want to disclose about the property)
What if the seller fails to disclose any of this information to the buyer?
Home sellers are highly required to comply with the disclosure statement and complete the form. Failure to do so is subject to negligent or willful non-disclosure of defects. However, it’s the buyer’s sole responsibility to re-examine and confirm the property defects stated in the form.
A careful and thorough home inspection help ensure you are buying a house that’s worth the money. Performing house inspection is a recommended step to identify the present and possible issues.
Intentionally misleading information or hiding property defects can put your home sale canceled and put you in court. Your action could cost you to cover the court costs and also the buyer’s attorney fees. As a seller, disclose any known property defects honestly to your best knowledge and with “good faith”. Contact your real estate attorney or agent for any-related issues about the property disclosure form and the overview of its process. Make sure to ask questions you aren’t sure of yet.
Note: All the information mentioned above is just a guide for real estate sellers in Alaska. It is still best to seek legal advice from experts if you have any clarifications.
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