What Property Disclosures are Required in Delaware?
How different are the property disclosures in Delaware from other states? Broker/Owner Kathy Sperl-Bell discusses the very important property disclosure, plus a few others that are required in Delaware. Watch to find out what they are.
What property disclosures will I see if I’m buying a home in Delaware? Hi, this is Kathy Sperl-Bell of Active Adults Realty in Delaware, and seller’s disclosures are an important aspect of buying a home in any state, but especially here in Delaware where there are strict disclosure laws. I’m shocked that some states don’t even require written property disclosures, but here in Delaware, we have a very thorough document that covers 131 questions, and everyone selling a home in Delaware is required to complete this disclosure before the home is even listed for sale. So what does it cover? It covers a lot. It’s very comprehensive. Talking about deed restrictions, homeowners or condo association restrictions, rules and regulations. It covers zoning information, any environmental hazards. It covers property damage, and with all the weather we’ve had this year, we know how important that is. Covers structural items. Has there been any termite infestation or damage?
What’s the condition of basements or crawl spaces? How about attics and the roof? It talks about plumbing, the HVAC systems and electrical systems. It really covers the condition of all systems and appliances that are included in this home. In addition, sellers are required to complete a radon disclosure if there’ve been any radon inspections, and if there’s been any need to do radon remediation. If the home was built prior to January of 1978, the seller also is required to complete a lead-based paint disclosure. So as I said, the seller’s disclosure must cover all known safety hazards and defects, but it’s the responsibility of the buyer to obtain a home inspection. So if you go to contract to purchase a home, your responsibility is to hire a home inspector, hire a termite inspector, perhaps even higher, a radon inspector, to perform all of these inspections and tests on the home that you’re under contract to purchase.
If a problem has been disclosed, then the fact that the home inspector points things out to you is not enough of a reason to declare that contract null and void, it’s already been disclosed. But what the home inspector can help you understand is how you might need to do things to maintain that home once you have purchased it. When, we’re working with a seller, we always advise the seller to disclose, disclose, disclose. That’s always best in all situations, but especially in real estate, disclose, provide a full explanation of the problem, what it was, what it is, and what’s been done to solve that problem. When we’re working with a buyer, we always make sure that you review all of these disclosures and have a thorough understanding of them before you even submit an offer to purchase. So that’s important. You can get all the documentation in the world, but if you don’t review it, if you don’t understand it, it’s not very useful.
So in Delaware, the other point that I want to make is everything needs to be in writing, in the contract or in an addendum to the contract that has been signed by both parties, by the buyer and the seller, and agreed to before you proceed to complete the purchase of your home. So when you’re working with one of the agents at Active Adults Realty, whether you’re the buyer or the seller, we take these things very seriously, and we’re going to make sure that they are done appropriately and completely. If you have any questions, please get in touch, Broker@ActiveAdultsRealty.com, and we’re here to help.
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