Buying or selling a home is among the most important transactions in a person’s life. Beyond the expense, a home is where you live and raise your family, so you want to ensure it is a safe and comfortable place.
With this in mind, people often ask what a home seller must disclose to a buyer about a house.
Seller’s sales disclosure
In Indiana, the seller of a home must complete a standard residential disclosure form that contains information about the physical condition of the residence.
The form requires, for example, disclosure regarding the conditions of appliances and electrical systems in the house. The seller must also disclosure any hazardous conditions on the property or if anybody used the home to manufacture methamphetamine.
Additionally, the seller must disclose foundational problems, zoning violations or similar issues with the property, as well as any threatened or current litigation related to the property.
No disclosure required
While a seller must disclose items related to the physical condition or restrictions on use of the property, Indiana law does not require a seller to disclose issues that could psychologically affect the perception of the property.
Examples of so-called “psychological effect” issues that a seller need not disclose include the fact that a person died in the home or that criminal activity occurred in the past. Similarly, there is no requirement that a seller disclose their belief that a house is haunted.
Failure to disclosure
When in doubt, a seller of real estate should consult an experienced attorney regarding disclosure or other requirements. If a seller fails to disclosure required information, expensive litigation and liability could result.
If you are either a buyer or seller impacted by a disclosure issue, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to understand your rights and obligations.