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Does a Seller Have an Obligation to Disclose a Property’s Condition?

Published Dec 31, 2018 • Last Updated 10:16 am, December 31, 2018

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In Connecticut, the law requires Sellers to disclose to potential buyers any known defects that could adversely affect the property. Disclosures are typically presented to the buyer prior to a contract being signed by both parties. Realtors will request sellers complete the form, which is provided by Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection and includes 56 questions pertaining to the condition of the property. The disclosure is then shared with the buyer's agents and potential buyer. Failure to provide this disclosure can result in a $500 fine applied to the seller at time of closing.

Most of the questions allow for a "yes," "no," or "unknown" response, with additional space to expand on answers needing further explanation. The questions are broken down into categories:

1) General Information includes questions pertaining to the age of the structure and whether it's located in a flood zone or wetlands area or if there is any leased equipment.

2) Systems/Utilities requires sellers to disclose any known problems with the mechanicals, such as heating, plumbing, electrical, etc. Sellers are also asked to disclose whether there's an underground fuel tank.

3) Building/Structure/Improvements includes questions on whether there are known foundation or slab problems, roof leaks, issues with water drainage, past fire or smoke damage, and problems or infestation related to termites, pests, rodents, etc. Sellers are also asked to provide copies of reports if any testing was done. One of the most prevalent tests performed is for radon levels in the air (within the home) and for homes that have wells, the domestic water as well.

While it's helpful to buyers to have a seller complete a disclosure form, it's also beneficial to the seller. Once a seller reveals any known problems with the property, a buyer can determine an offer price that they're comfortable with based on the condition of the property and age of the mechanicals, systems, or roof.

Rose Ciardiello's rapid ascent in the competitive real estate industry is quite impressive. She's a three-time winner of the Five Star Professional's Rising Star Real Estate Award, including Rookie of the Year in 2016, and doesn't seem to be resting on her laurels anytime soon. After recording a sales volume of $17 million in 2016 and $19 million in 2017, she's closed more than 60 houses since January of this year and more than $31 million in closed sales volume year-to-date!

"I have no off button," Ciardiello says. "I give 100 percent no matter what I do. You really need to be on top of the pulse of things. It's part of what I enjoy doing and being successful is having your reputation out there. People know my work ethic. It's a very challenging, competitive business, and really is time consuming, and I love it."

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