Real Estate Planning December 25, 2023

What Are Property Disclosures?



Reviewing property disclosures is a critical step in the home buying process, as it provides essential information about the property’s condition, history, and any known issues. Here’s a guide on how to review property disclosures and what to look for:

What Are Property Disclosures?

Property disclosures are documents provided by the seller that detail the property’s condition, history, and any known defects or issues. These disclosures are intended to inform potential buyers about the property’s condition and help them make informed decisions.

Common Types of Property Disclosures:

  1. Seller’s Disclosure: This document, completed by the seller, provides information about the property’s condition, known defects, repairs, renovations, and other relevant details.
  2. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure: If the property was built before 1978, sellers are required to provide information about the presence of lead-based paint and any known hazards.
  3. Flood Zone Disclosure: If the property is located in a flood zone, sellers are required to disclose this information and provide details about flood insurance requirements and potential risks.
  4. HOA Disclosures: If the property is part of a homeowners association (HOA), sellers are required to provide information about HOA fees, rules, regulations, and any pending assessments or issues.

What to Look for When Reviewing Property Disclosures:

  1. Condition of the Property: Review the seller’s disclosure for information about the property’s overall condition, including any known defects, repairs, or renovations.
  2. Repairs and Renovations: Look for details about recent repairs, renovations, or improvements made to the property, including permits obtained and contractors used.
  3. Potential Issues and Risks: Pay attention to any disclosures about potential issues or risks, such as past water damage, structural problems, pest infestations, or environmental hazards.
  4. Legal and Compliance Issues: Ensure the property complies with local zoning laws, building codes, and other legal requirements. Look for disclosures about any past violations, permits, or legal disputes related to the property.
  5. Warranties and Guarantees: Check for information about warranties, guarantees, or warranties included with the property, such as appliance warranties, roofing warranties, or structural warranties.

What to Do If You Identify Concerns:

  1. Ask Questions: If you have questions or concerns about the disclosures, ask the seller or their agent for clarification or additional information.
  2. Request Inspections: Consider scheduling professional inspections, such as a home inspection, pest inspection, or environmental assessment, to further evaluate the property’s condition and identify any potential issues.
  3. Negotiate Repairs or Credits: If the inspections reveal significant issues not disclosed in the seller’s disclosures, discuss potential repairs, credits, or price adjustments with the seller to address the concerns.


Reviewing property disclosures is an essential step in the home buying process, providing valuable insights into the property’s condition, history, and potential risks. By carefully reviewing and understanding the disclosures, asking questions, and conducting necessary inspections, you can make informed decisions and ensure a smoother and more transparent transaction.