The Buyer's Agent may not be informed as to the full condition of a property being shown if it is their first time showing the property. However, some brokers may be very familiar with a specific property - as they may have sold the property previously. As such, they may be privy to certain conditions of the specific property and should disclose the information as a ethical duty), However, In New York State: The Seller's Broker is required to supply a "Property Condition Disclosure Statement" which is to be completed by the Seller/Owner of the property and given to the Buyer/Buyer's Broker - prior to contract signing. (- of which the First Section of page 1 of 6 pages -- is recreated below). The statement lists several questions covering several categories of issues to be disclosed such as General Information; Environmental Information; Structural and Mechanical Systems and Services of the property - to which the Seller must answer and Certify as to the truthfulness of their answers with their signature(s).
However, TAKE NOTICE THAT THE FORM ALSO SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT THE BUYER SHOULD PURSUE THEIR OWN INDEPENDENT INSPECTION OF THE PROPERTY - DESPITE THE DISCLOSURE. (THIS IS REFERRED TO AS PERFORMING DUE DILIGENCE) [EXCERPT FROM THE FORM IS BELOW]
Property Condition Disclosure Statement
Name of Seller or Sellers: ___James and Jane Doe____________________________________
Property Address: _________123 Anywhere Street, _____________________________________
________________________,Any County, New York___________________________________
The Property Condition Disclosure Act requires the Seller of residential real property to cause this disclosure statement or a copy thereof to be delivered to a buyer or buyerâ€™s agent Prior To The Signing By The Buyer Of A Binding Contract of Sale.
Purpose of Statement:
This is a statement of certain conditions and information concerning the property known to the seller. This Disclosure Statement is not a warranty of any kind by the seller or by any agent representing the seller in this transaction.
IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY INSPECTIONS OR TESTS AND THE BUYER IS ENCOURAGED TO OBTAIN HIS OR HER OWN INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL TESTS AND ALSO IS ENCOURAGED TO CHECK PUBLIC RECORDS PERTAINING TO THE PROPERTY.
A knowingly false or incomplete statement by the seller on this form may subject the seller to claims by the buyer prior to or after the transfer of title. In the event a seller fails to perform the duty prescribed in this article to deliver a Disclosure Statement prior to the signing by the buyer of a binding contract of sale, the buyer shall receive upon the transfer of title a credit of $500 against the agreed upon purchase price of the residential real property.
â€œResidential real propertyâ€ means real property improved by a one to four family dwelling used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, wholly or partly, as the home or residence of one or more persons, but shall not refer to (a) unimproved real property upon which such dwellings are to be constructed or (b) condominium units or cooperative apartments or (c) property on a homeownersâ€™ association that is not owned in fee simple by the seller.
Instructions to the Seller:
a. Answer all questions based upon your actual knowledge.
b. Attach additional pages with your signature if additional space is required.
c. Complete this form yourself.
d. If some items do not apply to your property, check â€œNAâ€ (Non-applicable). If you do not know the answer check â€œUnknâ€ (Unknown).
This is a State required compliance and every Broker is obligated regardless of whether or not they are a member of the National Association of Realtors.