Any time a house is sold in the state of Connecticut, several mandatory forms must be filled out by the sellers. The most important of these forms is the Property Disclosure Statement. It is a legal document that discloses the overall condition of a house, including any possible “ills” a house might have. If you have ever bought or sold a property you have seen (and signed) a disclosure statement (unless you bought or sold a property from the estate of a deceased person – I’ll cover that in a later post.)
It is a four-page document that details specific information about a property. The age of the roof, mechanicals and other important house functions. It provides details about the septic system and well water (if applicable). It asks for details about water in the basement or leaks anywhere within in the house. It also asks about flood insurance, wetlands and other things about the property that may impact a purchase.
These documents are pretty basic, but they are also pretty important. You can be held accountable for any misinformation you knowingly provide. Be truthful, even if it doesn’t portray your house in the best possible way. Buyers have a right to know if they are purchasing a house with any problems.
Now, if you had three drops of water in your normally dry basement when Hurricane Irene was swirling around, then you probably don’t have to say you have a “water problem”. Everything you disclose should be a recurring problem. Your Realtor can help you understand what should be considered a recurrent problem vs. a one-time only incident.
The important thing is to be fair and honest to any potential buyer.
As I always tell my six-year-old…you’ll never get in trouble by telling the truth.
Here is a copy of the form that shows the information you must provide.