Real estate disclosures are designed to give prospective buyers sufficient information to understand the condition of the properties they are interested in acquiring. In Georgia and other jurisdictions, material defects in a property may need to be disclosed if a prospective buyer could not discover those defects through an inspection. However, not all unfavorable property information has to be proactively shared with parties interested in buying a home.
Deaths and disease
Many people want to know if anyone ever died in the homes they are interested in buying. In Georgia, a property owner does not have to voluntarily disclose a death in their residence, nor do they have to disclose if a person suffered from a disease while in the home. However, if a prospective buyer asks about these subjects, the buyer must answer them truthfully and to the best of their knowledge.
What this means for buyers
Deaths and disease do not have to be shared by buyers as disclosures. There is no obligation of a seller to provide such information, provided they are not asked about them. Only when a buyer solicits such information must the seller share it with them.
For buyers, this means educating themselves on what disclosures must be shared with them about residential real estate in Georgia, and which items of information may be held back. By knowing Georgia laws about disclosures, buyers can ask important questions to find out what they need before committing to residential real estate purchases. Their trusted real estate lawyers can advise them of the best steps to take to protect themselves during real property transactions.