Disclosure laws are implemented to protect the buyer from buying a defective house. These are certain items that need to be disclosed before the sale is completed. Home defects such as water leaks, structure issues, insect infestations, plumbing problems, and electrical system problems. Like most of the states, the Idaho law requires sellers to disclose any known major defects that are important to mention before the purchase.
Contrary to the belief that the buyer is protected from the disclosure form, the seller is also protected in such matters. The form also serves as a protection from the seller because there is a written record of what defects are exposed to the new homeowner. Failure to disclose any known major defects is subject to a void transaction, and worst can result in a lawsuit.
» Selling A House In Idaho: Know The Process To Sell Your Home In Idaho.
Here are all the seller disclosure requirements in Idaho you need to know:
- Federal Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
- General Disclosure Requirements
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 before 1978
In order to protect the health of residential occupants from possible exposure to lead from paint, dust, or lead poisoning, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act must be implemented. Under federal law, the seller should disclose facts to the buyer whether the house has any reports or records of lead-based paint hazards. “Testing and assessments should be done by qualified individuals who are certified, lead-based paint professionals.” You can read more details about this on the fact sheet here, and the Lead-Based Paint Activities Act.
The seller can provide a 10-day period for the buyer to do a risk assessment or paint inspection for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. For safety purposes, the homebuyers may look for a lead hazard inspection firm by following this link.
» Selling Home As Is In Idaho: Here Is Houzeo’s Guide On How To Sell Your Home As-Is In Idaho.
General Disclosure Requirements
According to the Idaho State Legislature in Statute 55, there are certain issues and defects the seller should disclose when filling out the form. The law states specifically that sellers of residential real estate property are obliged to complete a property disclosure form. However, “other than having lived at or owning the property, the Seller possesses no greater knowledge than that which could be obtained upon careful inspection of the property by the potential buyer”(See I.C. § 55-2504). In such a case, it’s not the seller’s legal responsibility to perform an inspection, but solely the buyer’s discretion to check the defect. As long as you answer the form to the best of your knowledge, then you’re not at fault.
The official standard form must be answered by a “yes’, “no”, or “don’t know” questions, and if yes, sellers are required to provide more information about the defects on the sheet.
However, the seller doesn’t have to disclose every issue about the property. For instance, it’s irrelevant and unnecessary to disclose the buyer that someone has suffered from AIDS or HIV at the house. Furthermore, facts about suicide, natural death, or paranormal activity are not necessarily included in the disclosure.
As a seller and as the only source of all the information in this form, here are the statutory disclosure requirements you are obliged to state:
- Area of City Impact
- Appliances and ServiceSystems (if they are functioning properly)
- Central Vacuum
- Microwave Oven
- Trash Compactor
- Smoke Detectors
- TV Antenna/Dish
- Fireplace/Wood Stove
- Water Heater
- Garage door opener
- Pool/Hot Tub
- Basement Water
- Roof Condition and Age
- Well, Septic System, Plumbing, Drainage
- Electrical, Heating
- Title Violations
- Encroachments, Easements, Zoning Violations, Lot Line Disputes
- Hazardous Materials or Pest Infestations
- Substantial Additions or Alterations without building permit
- Any legal, physical or other not listed issues mentioned above
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What if the seller fails to disclose any of this information to the buyer?
If the seller does not disclose property defects honestly, they can be liable for damages and can be punishable by law. The Idaho law clearly states that “no transfer, subject to this chapter, shall be invalidated solely because of the failure of any person to comply with any provision of this chapter. However, any person who willfully or negligently violates or fails to perform any duties prescribed by any provision of this chapter shall be liable in the amount of actual damages suffered by the transferee.” Litigation is a costly process and can possibly lose you a lot of fortune.
It’s important to contact your real estate attorney in case you have doubts or inquiries. Fill out the property condition disclosure form properly. Also, make sure you read and review every detail so you can’t encounter any future problems.
» Sell My Home Fast Idaho: Read Our Blog If You’re In Dire Need To Sell Your House Fast In Idaho.
Most Common Mistakes By FSBO Home Sellers in Disclosures
The main object of disclosures in any area is to give clarity and perspective to a buyer. Buyers who are looking for a home usually have certain criteria in mind before searching for a home. A seller disclosure acts as a bridge to close these doubts, giving buyers a reason to have faith in you and your deal.
- One of the biggest mistakes a seller can make is not giving disclosures at all. The lack of trust between a buyer and seller can demotivate a buyer from considering your property altogether. Hence, it is suggested that sellers complete all disclosure formalities as soon as possible, even though it may not be legally required in your state.
- Likewise, sellers also get an option to mark a point as ‘unknown’ in disclosures. This gives you ample opportunity to be honest in your disclosures. Also, marking a certain disclosure clause as ‘unknown’ shifts the burden on a buyer to inspect that particular problem. Hence, don’t make the mistake of lying on your disclosures, as that would count as fraudulent misrepresentation and attract a lawsuit.
- Most state laws prescribe that the disclosures should be provided before closing. As an FSBO seller, it is your duty to provide disclosures as soon as possible, since you do not have a real estate agent to do these things for you.
- ✍️ Pro Tip: Sellers who are selling their house the FSBO way are advised to keep their Disclosure Statement ready before listing on the MLS. It increases your credibility and reliability from a buyer’s perspective, as they get an idea of the property’s condition early on.
» How To Sell A House By Owner In Idaho: Are You Considering Selling Your House Without A Realtor? Here Are Our Tips For A Smooth Selling Process.
Tips to Minimize Issues in Idaho Disclosure Documents
|Review And Verify||There’s a time allowance (some permit 10 days) to review and verify everything about your Purchase and Sales Agreement—also the square footage, home usage, and marketing.|
|Ask Questions||Ask questions when in doubt. This would help you in avoiding future troubles.|
|Hire A Professional Inspector||A professional inspector can help you gather backup information about the property’s condition. You can also opt for a pre-inspection before listing.|
» Idaho Home Inspectors – Find out the best home inspectors in Idaho.
|Disclose Everything||To avoid problems in your home disclosure statement disclose everything you know honestly. Even though it’s a minor issue, you must disclose it.|
|Get A Licensed Agent Involved||The best way to avoid disclosure issues is to get a licensed ID real estate agents. Agents can help you manage and assist you in the process along the way.|
- ✍️ Editor’s Note: Though selling your home yourself on a For Sale By Owner website can save you thousands in commission, we highly recommend you add a Flat Fee MLS listing to your marketing strategy. Check out the best Flat Fee Idaho.
By listing your property with Houzeo, you get access to all forms in electronic format. And that too, for FREE! Houzeo has segregated all the disclosures state-wise so that you don’t have to hunt for Seller Disclosure form Idaho separately.
Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.
Note: All the information mentioned above is just a guide for real estate sellers in Idaho. It is still best to seek legal advice from experts if you have any clarifications.
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