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Sellers must provide property defects and condition to buyers

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2021 | Residential Real Estate

A home purchase or sale is one of the largest transactions a person can make. It is helpful to know that Delaware law provides guidelines for buyers and sellers involved in residential real estate transactions.

Material defects

When residential real estate is sold, the seller must disclose to the buyer in writing all of the property’s known material defects.

A material defect generally includes an issue with the property that adversely affects its value or presents an unreasonable risk to the buyer which may cause him or her to make a different decision about the purchase.

If a seller does not provide this information to the buyer, the buyer may have a cause of action against the seller for the material defect later on.

Property condition report

Sellers must also provide a property condition report to the buyer at the time the buyer makes an offer to purchase the property. This becomes part of the purchase agreement.

The report includes information such as whether the property is subject to deed restrictions, whether the mortgage on the property exceeds the property’s value and if there are any zoning violations the buyer should be aware of.

It also addresses environmental hazards that may be present, drainage or flood issues with the property and whether any structural changes have been made to the property.

It includes an acknowledgement that the seller has provided the information to the best of his or her knowledge and that it is true.

Residential real estate transactions can be complex and an attorney who is experienced in this area can help guide sellers and buyers through this process.