If you are contemplating selling your home in New York, you need to familiarize yourself with mandatory disclosures you will be required to make to a prospective buyer. Pursuant to the law that is applicable to residential property sellers, you need to make certain disclosures in advance of entering into a sales contract with a prospective buyer.
Primary disclosures required by the Property Condition Disclosure Act
The New York real estate law governing a seller’s disclosures in a residential sales transaction is the Property Condition Disclosure Act. This New York statute requires a seller to answer 48 specific questions that fall into four general categories:
- General information about the property, including the age of the home
- Environmental data about such things as a history of radon and whether the premises is on a floodplain
- Structural data about whether there has been any smoke, fire, water and similar types of damage at the premises
- Information about mechanical systems at the home, including any performance issues
When disclosures are to be made
There is a specific time within which a seller’s disclosures must be made to a prospective purchaser. The New York Property Condition Disclosure Act requires the 48 questions to be answered before a contract for sale is signed. There typically is a period of time when a prospective purchaser verbally indicates a desire to enter into a sales contract and the actual execution of the agreement.
A seller must exercise reasonable diligence to ensure that accurate information is provided in response to the questions included in the disclosure mandate. A failure to do so can leave a purchaser with grounds upon which to take legal action.