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Seller Disclosures Required by Connecticut

CT Seller Disclosures for Real Estate, Penalty Increase.

I advise my seller clients to write everything they can that they know about their home on that CT Seller Disclosure Form.  Even attach pages, if they needed to. In the state  of Connecticut, where I live and sell homes, it is the law. 

The penalty for not providing a buyer with the disclosure form, when they make their offer, is now $400.00.  Whether it is sold by the owner or by a real estate broker. The state of Connecticut just raised that penalty from $300.00. We will be issued new forms in the coming months.

This is a good advantage for the seller's to take. Most people have maintained their homes. Some have updated them. Many people improve the home, prior to listing it. All good for the buyers. This is good for the sellers, also. It will make their home more appealing to the buyers.  Unknown or missing information can be frightening when making such a significant purchase. Better to show off your improvements for your home!

Every once in awhile, we come across a seller who has checked no or unknown, throughout the three pages of the report. Even the lead and mold disclosures are checked, unknown. This can be a warning to buyers.  Have they done nothing to this home while they lived there? There seems to be a new kitchen, new doors, new boiler, etc. I suggest asking the listing agent if there might be a list of improvements. Maybe, the sellers don't understand how valuable the seller disclosure can be for the sale of their home. Sometimes we receive a list, sometimes we don't. According to state law estates, foreclosures and new construction properties, are not required by law to fill out this form.

Currently, our state legislatures are updating the form, since the penalty increased. When they do, we will need to update each of our listings with that new form filled out by the seller.  Whether they are owner occupied or not.

Regardless, I always advise my clients to have their own home inspection.  I refer to it as "cheap insurance" going forward. Many of the home inspectors offer helpful tips on maintenance and changes that they can make, that will enhance the property. Learning about homeownership can be exciting and rewarding!

Click here to access the state's Seller Disclosure Form. 

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Think Positive August 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM
If a Realtor promotes the property has having been updated with a new kitchen, bath, electrical, etc, they better be certain that those improvements were done with proper permits, if permits were required, for they too could be held liable if the new owner finds problems with these updates at a later date. I remember years ago a Realtor friend of mine got sued over such an issue. The seller told the Realtor that the house had electrical had been updated. She promoted such to the buyers. Well, a few months after the new buyer's moved there was a fire. It was determined that the cause of the fire was "faulty wiring". The seller never obtained a 'permit' for the electrical work for he did the work himself. Guess who got sued, the seller and the Realtor. The buyer was awarded damages.
Think Positive August 29, 2012 at 02:02 PM
"Who is liable?" "When a seller fails to disclose a material, latent defect, that seller is liable for any costs the purchaser has to pay to remedy the situation. This liability extends to the listing agent. Both owner and agent have a duty to not only disclose but to exercise reasonable diligence to discover any latent defects in the property they want to sell. This means that even if the defect was not readily observable but could have been reasonably discovered by the seller and/or agent, then liability attaches to both. The owner and agent may remain liable even if the buyer's inspector does not discover the defect(s) during inspection" http://www.realestatelawyers.com/resources/real-estate/purchase-sale-agreements/what-happens-a-seller-fails-disclose-defects-whe A quick trip to your local building dept. will tell whether or not "permits" were issued and/or required for updates or improvements that were made. Shoddy workmanship or improvements/repairs that don't meet building code are as much, if not more likely, to get you sued.
Daniella Ruiz August 29, 2012 at 05:41 PM
with many 'homes' being purchased for the benefit of a quick flip, a snapped up foreclosure or a real estate agent doing some fast turn overs for their own profit, they may be the legal owner, but would have little or no history or knowledge of the structure or the property. buyers must do some minor leg work, have an inspector tour the home, talk to neighbors or past renters failing to ask some some basic questions or worse, to be taken in by a realtor that claims 'there's a few other buyers very interested in this' ploy, is RED FLAG that any new purchase should raise. the state may be real good at spewing out all sorts of requirements, legislation, forms, fee demands, and agency 'make work' process'\s, but they wont be there to pay for the misery that ensues when seller/buyer contract goes to pot. it will be a lawyer intense situation, and THAT alone will cost money that would have been better spent on basic legwork done BEFORE the sale. caveat emptor, ( in other words, cover your own bum!)
R Eleveld August 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Real Estate is the largest singular "investment" most people will ever make. It is also a transactions involving at least 6 people with their hands in the pot. The direct parties (buyer/seller), the agents (1 or 2), the mortgage provider, the appraiser, the lawyers (note plural), and others, plus CT with its various taxes and disclosures. As you can guess there are a lot of people that get paid. In a real estate transaction both the sellers agent and the buyers agent have a vested interest in the sales price, an inherent conflict of interest, (commission is a % of sales price). This creates a bias towards higher prices that equals greater commissions. This price bias is only kept in check by the appraisers and/or 'bankers' not willing to finance "unreasonable" values. Agents, Lenders and Lawyers and the State are all compensated in whole or in part based upon the transaction value. Agents get a % of the transaction value; Lawyers get paid a fee Plus a portion of the Title Insurance cost as a "commission" plus other services; Mortgage providers get a % of the loan plus a bonus for complexity and lower credit ratings = higher compensation (now understand the bad loan bubble?); Appraisers and Home Inspectors are paid a fee for service. If all parties understand conflicts it is better for the consumer. As others have said Caveat Emptor = BUYER BEWARE.
Frances C Rokicki, September 05, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Thank you all for your comments and information that you provided. Making the public more aware of state required forms, is so very helpful, when they decide to buy or sell a home in Ct.

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