Sellers from different counties and states have different real estate obligations provided by laws. The most common and relatively most important thing is to list everything they know about the condition of the property.
If you are selling a property in New Jersey, 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 Condition Disclosure Statement
Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan includes Federal and State seller disclosures?
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
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.
Sellers are required under federal law to comply with lead-based paint disclosure. The seller needs to disclose any information he has about the presence of any lead-based paint or chipped paint in the property to the best of his knowledge.
The seller may provide a 10-day period for the buyer to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or related hazards by hiring qualified experts to inspect the property entirely. Although not all of them may have the resources to do so, it is still practical for the seller to disclose everything he knows about the property to avoid any legal real estate conflicts in the future.
Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement
In New Jersey, there are no mandatory seller disclosure forms; but, under the common law, New Jersey courts made an exception to the general rule and came up with the Standard Form of Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement.
The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement identifies any known information that would affect the buyer’s decision if they knew about it. This information is collectively known as material facts. Although it is the seller’s obligation to tell his buyers about any known issues with the property, he does not have to go out of his way to find problems to disclose by hiring his own inspector.
The standard form is a 6-page document that contains a provision that a home is being sold by the seller in “as is” condition. This indicates that the seller feels the contract sale price takes into account the condition of the home and he does not intend to make any repairs to the property. However, buyers have a right, under a separate provision of the contract, to conduct inspections of the property to ascertain its condition.
If the buyer is not satisfied with the condition of the property for the contract price, they can still request repairs and may cancel the contract if the seller fails to make them. Further, the buyer accepts the property in its “as is” condition at the closing and the seller will not be held responsible for defects discovered afterward.
As a seller and as the only source of all the information in this form, you are obliged to state the following:
The property is inhabitable;
In real estate, it is always assumed that the property being sold is suitable to live in. In this section of the form, the seller is implying that the property is fit to live in or habitable.
All the known, latent, material defects of the property;
In this section, the seller has to disclose any issues with the property may it be visible or not.
Latent material defects are things that are in a condition that wouldn’t present itself under normal circumstances. These defects are specific issues with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people.
Common examples of latent material defects are:
- Roof leak/damage
- Plumbing leaks
- Defective drywall
- Wood destroying organisms (active infestation and/or previous damage)
- Foundation issues
- HVAC system (not working)
All the representations and disclosures covered in the sales contract:
This section includes representations or promises the seller is making about the property such as:
- All the systems and equipment may not be brand-new but in good working condition.
- Your property has been used in accordance with the current local zoning laws.
- All the structural changes made have supporting documents or permits from the municipality.
The use of the Seller’s Disclosure Statement Form is not legally required. A New Jersey home seller may choose to disclose any known material defects in the property in some other way, either orally or in writing.
Selling a home in New Jersey is not that complex. The required forms are not that complicated compared to the disclosures in other states. Therefore, in order to have the ideal transaction, make sure all information stated is accurate and thorough.
Note: All the information mentioned above is just a guide for real estate sellers in New Jersey. It is still best to seek legal advice from experts if you have any clarifications.
Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State disclosures?
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