The home disclosures that sellers don’t have to make in Georgia

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2018 | Residential Real Estate Closings

In some areas, those looking to sell their homes are required to disclose any number of things about it to potential buyers. This includes whether there’s the potential that lead-based paint was used there if a crime has been committed at the home or something else. Many of these home disclosures don’t have to be made in Georgia though.

Unlike other states, in Georgia, sellers aren’t required by law to disclose whether a crime was ever committed at the home, it was previously used as a drug lab or if someone died or was murdered there according to Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16(a)(1). Also, §44-1-16 (b) protects homeowners from having to disclose if sex offenders live nearby.

If it makes you uncomfortable that a homeowner could be aware that an adverse event happened in your home and wouldn’t have to tell you about it, then Georgia Official Code Annotated §44-1-16(a)(1) may give you some peace of mind. Under this law, homeowners are required to disclose any of this information that they know about their home honestly if they’re asked outright about it.

As for other defects with the actual construction of the home, Georgia law doesn’t require homeowners to fill out a seller’s disclosure when selling their home. If they decide to do so, though, then they are protected from listing any flaws that a prospective buyer would be able to notice if they were to inspect the home themselves. This includes such things are fire damage, mold or roof leaks.

While a listing agent is required to share with prospective buyers material facts about a home that they’re looking to buy, Georgia Code Annotated §10-6A-5(b)(2) protects them from potentially false information that they were told by a third party. Much like sellers, they’re expected to provide honest responses to any direct questions that a buyer asks them about it.

Since neither party is required to make disclosures about a property that they’re selling, it’s critical that buyers use the due diligence period to thoroughly inspect and research the home and neighborhood themselves. Buyers who need assistance in reviewing these issues, easement or zoning ones should consult an Augusta real estate closings attorney to guide them through the process.