By Kenzie Ball
QUESTION: I am buying a home from an individual in Lake Charles who is not using a realtor. I have looked at all the specifications of the home and some of the property structures and the foundations look sketchy at best. I know I cannot make the seller disclose any problems but is he required by law to do so?
ANSWER: Absolutely! If the property is residential, and the buyer is a traditional, third-party buyer (not a co-owner, or heir, or business etc.) then, in most cases, there should be a property disclosure form made available to you prior to the purchase. This is a form which is presented by the seller to the purchaser discloses, at a minimum, known defects in the residential real property. The disclosure is to include but not be limited to important information about he property (i.e. is there a home owners association, was there ever an illegal meth lab on the property, is there a salt dome cavity underneath the property, has the property been zoned commercial etc.). If the Property Disclosure Document is delivered after the BUYER makes an offer, the BUYER can terminate any resulting real estate contract or withdraw the offer for up to 72 hours after receipt of the Property Disclosure Document. This termination or withdrawal will be without penalty to the BUYER and any deposit or earnest money must be promptly returned to the BUYER (despite any agreement to the contrary).
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