Property Disclosures: Seller Required, Buyer Desired
One of the most important aspects of a residential real estate transaction is finding out as much as one can about the property before completing the sale. For sellers, this means being up front about certain issues, and for buyers this means doing what's known as due diligence: having the property inspected, reading and understanding the seller's disclosures, and asking as many questions as you need to feel comfortable buying the home.
Both sellers and buyers will receive from their agents a booklet called the "Residential Disclosure Guide" written by the Nevada Real Estate Division. The booklet is designed to increase consumer awareness and understanding of the disclosures that may be required in a residential transaction. It lists and explains disclosures required by federal, state and local laws.
One piece of the disclosure puzzle is the Seller's Real Property Disclosure form, also known as the SRPD. With a few limited exceptions, the SRPD is required to be provided by a seller at least 10 days prior to the conveyance of the property. (Contractual provisions may shorten that time frame.) The seller should use care when completing the form, and answer all questions truthfully as to what they are aware of in the property. Failure to provide the form or to answer untruthfully may have serious consequences under Nevada law. For example, if the seller knew there was mold in the home and failed to disclose it, the buyer could sue and recover three times the amount of money it took to fix the mold problem.
When reviewing the SRPD, buyers should make note of any answers that may concern them, and ask the REALTOR® representing them to follow up with the seller's agent. If any questions on the form are left unanswered, the buyer may request a response. Buyers should also be mindful of their statutory right to cancel the transaction with a written, signed and notarized cancellation notice within 4 business days of receiving the SRPD. The buyer may also waive the SRPD.
Nevada law does not require a seller to disclose a defect of which he is not aware, nor does the SRPD constitute an express or implied warranty regarding any condition of residential property. Additionally, the law does not relieve the buyer of the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect himself.
Dawn Barrier at HOMESMART ENCORE Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
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