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What real estate disclosures are required in New York?

When selling residential real estate in New York State, sellers must comply with specific disclosure obligations to ensure transparency and fairness in a transaction. These disclosures protect buyers by providing them with crucial information about a property’s condition and history before they commit to a purchase.

At the heart of these requirements is the Property Condition Disclosure Act (PCDA), which mandates sellers to complete a detailed disclosure statement about the property’s condition. This statement covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to the property’s structural integrity, hazardous materials like asbestos or lead paint, any flooding history and issues with the plumbing, electrical or heating systems.

Details on specific disclosures required

The Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) is a comprehensive document that requires sellers to answer questions about various aspects of the property. They must disclose known defects in the property, including issues with the foundation, roof, water and sewage systems and pests. Additionally, they must inform the buyer of any environmental hazards on or near the property, such as proximity to a floodplain or radon gas.

Sellers must reveal any legal issues that could affect the buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property. This includes zoning violations, pending legal actions and restrictions like easements or covenants. Disclosing such information enables buyers to assess potential costs or legal complications that could arise post-purchase.

The importance of accuracy and honesty

The accuracy and honesty of the disclosures provided by the seller are critical to the transaction’s integrity. Misrepresentation or omission of material facts can lead to legal disputes and financial losses for both parties. Buyers rely on these disclosures to make informed decisions, and the trust placed in the accuracy of this information underpins the transaction’s fairness.

Sellers should disclose any information relevant to the buyer’s decision-making process. In cases where the seller is unsure about specific details, disclosing this uncertainty is preferable to making unfounded assertions.

Navigating the complexities of real estate disclosures in New York State requires a careful and informed approach. Working with a legal representative who can review all documentation is critical for both sides in these transactions, given all that is at stake.

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