As a home seller, it’s your full obligation to disclose known property defects. Withholding any information can cause serious legal trouble. So, if you’re having doubts if you need to disclose something, it’s wiser to notify the buyer no matter how small this can be. These are material defects in the property that could affect the buyer’s decision or the quality of property in the long run. That’s why a disclosure statement is needed to know the condition of the property before signing any contract.
The disclosure form is a legal statement that contains the property’s condition—its major and minor features, and even those not asked in the form. It’s the seller’s responsibility to provide a written disclosure to the prospective buyer before both parties sign to any agreement.
» How To Sell My House North Dakota: Know the process to sell your home in North Dakota.
If you are selling a property in North Dakota, 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 Property Disclosure Form
» How Do I Sell My House As Is North Dakota: Here is Houzeo’s guide on how to sell your home as-is in North Dakota.
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.
If your North Dakota property is built before 1978, then you are legally obliged to disclose to the new homeowner of any known lead-based paint or chipped paint that could possibly harm the occupants. Since it’s a federal requirement, your real estate agent is required to hand over an EPA-approved pamphlet “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home”, provide lead-based paint reports and attachment that includes Lead Warning Statement and documents that could verify the seller has completed the required statute requirements.
The seller can provide a 10-day period for the buyer to conduct a risk assessment or paint inspection for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in the home. But both parties can agree in writing if they want to skip the inspection or prolong the duration of the inspection. Sellers can get their home pre-inspected and complete the certification to avoid a long period before the sale. For reliability and safety purposes, the homebuyers may look for a lead hazard inspection firm by following this link.
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Seller’s Property Disclosure Form
The North Dakota Real Estate Commission requires sellers to complete the Seller’s Property Disclosure Form, a written disclosure that should be given to the prospective buyer. If the property (for sale, exchange, or purchase) is under these factors, then you have to provide a written disclosure. (1) a real estate broker who is associated with a real estate brokerage firm represents or assists a party to the transaction; (2) the real property is an owner-occupied primary residence located in North Dakota being sold or exchanged by the owner. The written disclosure form must detail all material defects about the property, of which the seller is aware of and that could lead to any significant problems to the use of the property.
Furthermore, it’s never a good choice to withhold any information from your client. Although you can be hesitant to disclose defects, knowingly you can earn more if you do it. Obviously, the legal impact of your action can lead you to legal trouble and issues.
Since the North Dakota state practices “caveat emptor” which means it’s the buyer’s discretion to conduct a home inspection to check defects on the property. This also means that the homebuyer is not protected from any laws from buying a home without begin aware of defects or the condition of the sold property.
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:
Structure. The seller should provide details about the age of the structure, alteration (such as rooflines, load-bearing walls changes, additions). Also, information like building permits, fire, smoke, wind, floods, snow or broken water line damages. Other property defects include:
- Roof leak
- Condensation damage or ice buildup
- Dry Rot
- Siding Defects
- Floorings Issues
- Windows Damage
- Rain Gutter and Downspouts
- Roof or Shingles Damage
- Have you been paid for damage claims by insurance coverage?
- Water Damage to the Structure
- Floor or Wall Cracks
- Drain or Sump Pump Defects
- Cracks in Driveway, Garage Floor, Sidewalks, Patio, etc.
- Uneven Floors, Deterioration, or other Problems with the Foundations
- Other Interior or Exterior Structural Defects
Water and Sewer. As a seller, you need to include the source of your household water, the type of sewer system, issues such as back up, leakage, or other problems with sewer or septic systems, plumbing leaks, toilet issues, clogged drains, water wells present, or any shut-off, disconnected, abandoned wells, underground water, or sewer tanks on the house.
Electrical and Mechanical. These are property defects related to electrical outlets, switches, nonfunctioning utilities, electrical system problems, heating system problems, water heater, and heating system issues, air conditioning, and fireplace problems.
Environmental Conditions. Does the property have underground storage tanks? Also, property condition issues like asbestos-containing materials, lead hazards (lead paint, lead pipes, lead in soil), radon, insect infestations, drainage or flood issues, flooding, flood zone area, manufacture, storage or use of methamphetamines on the property, mold growth, and pets on the property.
Land Use. Home sellers should check if the property is subject to any covenants, reservations, or deed restrictions, and also to any easements, shared driveway, party walls, or encroachments from or on adjacent property. Property issues on any existing leases and homeowner’s association.
Systems and Appliances. Sellers must provide explanations for nonfunctioning items and mark “yes” if it’s still functional. To name a few, these are items such as attic fan, freezer, doorbell, gas grill, heating stove, hot tub, humidifies, in-wall speakers, oven, microwave oven, range, range exhaust food, refrigerator, sauna, septic tank, smoke detectors, sump pump, window air conditioners, others.
There’s also an additional space provided for the seller to disclose those who are not mentioned or included above the list of items. The disclosure form clearly states that “As the seller, you are required to disclose all material facts of which you are aware that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property or any intended use of the property of which you are aware.”
» How To Sell My House Faster North Dakota: Read our blog if you’re in dire need to sell your house fast in North Dakota.
What if the seller fails to disclose any of this information to the buyer?
As mentioned above, North Dakota is a “caveat emptor” state wherein it’s the buyer’s responsibility to examine and verify the defects of the property. Since a “caveat emptor” can be a complicated factor in transferring property, it’s also wise to hire a professional real estate agent to assist you with the transaction. Property statutes in North Dakota can courtside with buyers with the following vital factors: (a) property defects are material and were not reasonably discoverable. (b) there are elements of constructive fraud by a seller that lead to the breach of contract. (c) the seller is utilizing deceitful strategies and tactics to the buyer without knowledge of certain issues.
It’s a known fact that misleading information and hiding property defects intentionally is a serious offense by law. If found guilty of such an act, your sale could be at stake—the deal can be canceled, and you have to face litigation in the process. As a seller, the best route would be to perform a pre-sale inspection so the buyers could ultimately trust you and could wish to push forward the transaction without hesitation.
As much as possible, disclose honestly to your best knowledge and with good faith. Contact your real estate agent and attorney to understand more about the disclosure form and its process. If you’re prepared to start your home selling process, Houzeo can simplify the process with the digitized documents—all done within a short time.
» Can I Sell My House By Myself North Dakota: Are you considering selling your house without a realtor? Here are our tips for a smooth selling process.
Tips to Minimize Issues in North Dakota 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.|
» Find out the best home inspectors in North Dakota.
|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 real estate agents in North Dakota. 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 North Dakota Flat Fee MLS.
» ND Flat Fee MLS – Discover The Best Flat Fee MLS Service in Georgia
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 North Dakota seller disclosures separately.
Check out some of the Houzeo reviews and how it has helped customers around the US.
*Seller disclosures are exclusively the responsibility of a home seller. Regardless of the service, you engage in, you are required to ensure seller disclosures provided by you are complete and accurate to your best knowledge. Houzeo is not a brokerage or a licensed agent. It is a tech platform, and the tips presented here should not be construed as advice for which a real estate or attorney license is required.
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