It's still the law of the land in Ohio
If you haven't been involved in a real estate transaction
in the past six years, you may not be aware that as of 1993,. the state of
Ohio requires mandatory property disclosure on homes for sale.
In the early 1990s, the Realtor organization promoted
legislation for state-mandated seller disclosure for a very simple reason
- this law would prove beneficial not only the buyers but also to the
sellers. Buyers are protected because sellers must disclose, in writing,
any known defects of the property.
On the other hand, sellers are protected because buyers
are put on notice as to those disclosed defects, and once disclosed,
defects cannot be the basis of a post-closing lawsuit. The only
residential real estate transactions which are exempted from this law are:
newly constructed residential property
transfers between co-owners or those resulting from a
inherited property where the seller has not resided in
the property for one year prior to the sale
transfers to or from the state and other governmental
sale to a tenant who has resided in the property for
at least one year prior to the purchase
transfers by fiduciaries in administering an estate,
guardianship, or trust
The Ohio Residential Property Disclosure From requires the
seller to indicate any known problems or defects regarding a variety of
known features and structural aspects of the home.
This includes information on the water supply, sewer
system, roof, basement, structural components (e.g., floors and walls),
mechanical systems, termites, presence of hazardous materials, drainage,
code violations and wells. In some cases, the owner must indicate known
problems or defects during his or her ownership for a period not to exceed
the past five years.
While the completion of the form by the current owners is
required, they are only asked to indicate conditions as they known them.
The owners are not required to further investigate any aspect of the home
mentioned on the form of which they have no knowledge.
If the owners do not know about the current condition of
any item included on the form, they are free to indicate this.
The law requires the owner to present prospective buyers
with the completed and signed form as soon as practical or before an offer
to purchase the home is made. The buyers must acknowledge receipt of the
form by returning a signed and dated copy of the form back to the seller.
If the disclosure form is not provided until after a
contract is entered into, the buyer may rescind the contract within three
business days after the date on which the form is received by giving
written notice to the seller or the seller's agent. This right to rescind
is limited to 30 days from the date of the purchase contract was entered
into or at closing, whichever occurs first.
Once the transaction closes, no rescission rights exist,
regardless of whether the form was presented late or not at all.
A little confused? Don't be. Simply call on a member of
the Dayton Area Board of Realtors to help you through the process. While
we cannot actually help you fill out the form,. we can answer any
questions you may have about the form itself.
-Excerpted from the Dayton Daily News's
Real Estate Plus Section, Sunday, January 31, 1999. Authored by Suzie
Suzie Roselius is a past-president of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.