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Selling Your Home? 3 Things to Know About Seller’s Disclosures

By Lane V. Erickson

Like most States Idaho has determined that it wants people to be able to sell their homes whenever they want. However, because housing is such an important part of life, and is a huge investment for most people, Idaho requires certain disclosures to be made by a seller so that a buyer is fully informed before they make a purchase of a home.  The law in Idaho is called the Property Condition Disclosure Act which is found at Idaho Code §§ 55-2501 through 2518.  Here are three key things you need to know about this particular Idaho statute.

1. Who is Required to Make Disclosures

The statue is specific in saying that any person who is selling residential real property whether it is a rental property or a regular residential property, is required to fill out and provide to the buyer, the Property Condition Disclosure Form set forth in Idaho Code § 55-2508. (See I.C. § 55-2504.) However the very next code section (I.C. § 55-2505) provides 16 specific exemptions.

Without naming the mall it is sufficient to state that this includes foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, transfers from an estate, transfers completed through a power of attorney for somebody who is incompetent, and transfers between current co-owners.

Even though there appear to be a number of exceptions to the requirement, the general rule and the most common practice is that everybody needs to fill out and provide to the buyer the property condition disclosure form.  If you have any questions about whether the statute applies to you it would be worth your while to contact an attorney.

2. What are You Required to Disclose

Idaho Code § 55-2508 contains the specific Property Condition Disclosure Form that every person is required to use. The items that are included on this form are essentially about any damage or issues that have occurred to the home while you have owned it. Additionally you are required to disclose whether you have constructed any additions or renovations to the home and whether you applied for and obtained the proper building permits for this construction or renovation.

Again the idea here is that you disclose enough information to the buyer that they are able to make a knowing decision about whether they want to purchase your home or not. If you intentionally hide or just inadvertently fail to disclose issues concerning the home, such as the foundation, or water damage, or electrical problems, that is a violation of the law.

3. What Happens if Your Disclosures Are Not Accurate

If a seller fails to properly disclose items to the prospective buyer in the buyer ends up purchasing the home and then later discovers problems that were not disclosed, the seller could be liable for those damages. Specifically the statute states:

 

“No transfer, subject to this chapter, shall be invalidated solely because of the failure of any person to comply with any provision of this chapter. However, any person who willfully or negligently violates or fails to perform any duties prescribed by any provision of this chapter shall be liable in the amount of actual damages suffered by the transferee.”

 

The damages mentioned in the statute are money damages.  This simply means that the seller may be required to open up their wallet and pay money to the buyer to help them fix the property so that it is in the condition that was disclosed by the seller.

It is important for every seller in Idaho to properly fill out the Property Condition Disclosure Form. Doing so will properly inform the buyer and will allow the cell to be completed without any problems.

Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate attorneys in Idaho. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at lve@racinelaw.net. We will answer your Idaho Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate questions and will help you solve your Idaho Landlord and Tenant Law and Real Estate needs.

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