Sellers are required to indicate any significant defects or malfunctions existing in the home's major systems. A "Property Disclosure "checklist specifies interior and exterior walls, ceilings, roof, insulation, windows, fences, driveway, sidewalks, floors, doors, foundation, as well as the electrical and plumbing systems. The form also asks sellers to note the presence of environmental hazards, walls or fences shared with adjoining landowners, any encroachments or easements, room additions or repairs made without the necessary permits or not in compliance with building codes, zoning violations, citations against the property and lawsuits against the seller affecting the property. Also look for, or ask about, settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems and any major damage resulting from earthquakes, floods or landslides. Owner Associations or HOA may be active, restrictive covenants may be applicable for the home/ subdivision. Be sure to exercise your Due Diligence as a buyer.
People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions or other deed restrictions. The owners association should be able to share financials, insurance bonds and notify prospective buyers of any active, pending or upcoming assessments. Again, Buyers need to exercise their Due Diligence.
It's important to note that the simple idea of disclosing defects has broadened significantly in recent years. Many jurisdictions have their own mandated disclosure forms as do many brokers and agents. Also, the home inspection and home warranty industries have grown significantly to accommodate increased demand from cautious buyers. Be sure to ask questions about anything that remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.