Buying a home in Philly is a fun and important decision. You always want to make a good investment, whether it is your home or an investment property. It is necessary to find out about any issues before taking the next step and purchasing the home. In Pennsylvania the seller is required to fill out and provide a property disclosure and a lead paint disclosure (if built before 1978). You’ll be required to review these real estate disclosures and they must be signed by both the buyer and seller.
A seller’s disclosure acknowledges any material defects or potential issues that affect a property’s value. There are some important aspects of the disclosure that buyers should understand prior to signing a contract.
What a Seller’s Disclosure Covers
The deliberate act of hiding or withholding information about home defects or other deal-breaker issues is in many cases unlawful. It is important for a seller to be upfront with a potential buyer before they enter into a purchase agreement. However, since disclosure laws vary by place, it is good to check with local planning departments about the legalities that apply.
Most seller disclosure forms include the age and condition of these structural parts and systems:
- Sewer or septic tank
These give a general overview of a home’s condition and cover possible safety issues.
It is essential to reveal the potential for flood risks or information about previous flood damage. It is also crucial for sellers to admit the presence of toxic waste or hazardous substances.
Two big concerns for homeowners are whether mold is present or whether mold remediation has occurred. Mold poses a serious health risk to people. A violent crime in a home or a property defect that caused the death of an individual on the premises are also possible turnoffs for buyers.
If there is a homeowner’s association (HOA) that imposes fees and has rules about the maintenance of the home and property, this is an essential disclosure. These associations can present a sizable, ongoing expense to owners.
House Flipping Considerations
People in the business of flipping houses need to abide by the laws of proper disclosure as well. While turning houses quickly is essential to their bottom line, a seller’s disclosure is still needed. Flippers often buy properties in poor condition and then make renovations. It is never a good practice or ethical behavior to hide prospective problems from buyers.
Work With a Real Estate Professional
The Ian Perler Team are the real estate professionals you need to guide you through buying a home in Philadelphia. Contact us for listings and expert knowledge and quality advice about real estate purchases.