I am in NJ, not PA, but I am near Philadelphia PA. I also own properties in
both NJ and PA and I know all of the disclosure rules etc. when it comes to
selling, renting, etc. I have no plan to sell now or in the future, so
everything I own is a permanent buy-and-hold and will only end up being
inherited. But, if I were to sell, I would simply disclose whatever is the
truth about each property, so I am not concerned about disclosure.
In what part of PA are you located?
I am in pittsburgh. Realtors around here say they must sell homes
TWICE, one before the inspection and one after.....
disclosure rules state you must list everything that had troubles and
what you did to fix them over many years. the statement is worded
brodly, to trip up anything you forget..
i only had solid info from when my mom and step dad got ill, and put
that on the disclosure form too.
it was a broadly worded document.
I was told lawyers of homebuyers who find problems check with all
contractors in the area.
often times the original owners had contacted contractors before
heck once a old girl friend called me to look at a home she was
thinking of buying...... I called some contractor friends to inspect
different parts of the home.
my buddy the roofer showed up, he said hi the house needs a new roof,
the roof is soft in many areas and all bad around the chimney which
needs taken down or replaced. I said you havent been on the roof...
how do you know this?
He had been out patching the roof for several years.....
it needed completely replaced with a new deck.....
the plumber found this from inside too, when he checked the cast iron
sewer stack that was bad.
the house was a wreck she didnt buy it, and thanked me for saving her
Nonsense. The requirement is to disclose "material defects". The
definition of a material defect (PA law; yes I looked it up) is not
every little cosmetic modification nor minor repair.
Material Defect is defined as a problem with a residential real
property or any portion of it that would have a significant adverse
impact on the value of the property or that involves an unreasonable
risk to people in the property. The fact that a structural element,
system or subsystem is near, at or beyond the end of the normal useful
life of such a structural element, system or subsystem is not by itself
a material defect. See 68 Pa.C.S.A. Section 7102.
In addition, the legislation is specifically written such that unless
you willingly and knowing hide a material defect, you're not liable for
something unknown to you or forgotten. If it comes to light there is
something all you have to do to rectify the problem is to make it known
at that time.
In Vermont, the forms specifically listed the "major subsystems" that needed
disclosure (plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, etc.). I don't
remember all of them but certainly gutters weren't in the list .
 Yep, leak in upstairs 1/2-bath. Repaired leak, replaced wall, and
subfloor. Add tile... Done.
 Yep, we had a leak. Replaced roof. Painted ceiling (along with the rest
of the house). Done.
 Cleaned Maple helicopters from gutters without bragging about it on the
On 11/12/2011 7:39 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Neither were existing major defects; ergo, were not required to be
Now, if you _want_ to, your choice, but there's nothing (I'm sure even
though I haven't looked at the specifics of VT law) in the rules that
would require it for routine maintenance and repair which those are.
If I ever gt a nanny-type agent such as Haller talks about (assuming it
isn't typical make-a-crisis-of-everything he's known for), they'd be
fired or educated, one; I certainly wouldn't do anything not required in
All because she chose to not disclose a material defect.
If it had been repaired/replaced/whatever it took, then it would have
been moot point.
Again, read the actual legislation--
"b) The property information report shall disclose the condition of
the property, to the extent known by the seller at the time the purchase
and sale agreement was prepared,..."
And to be perfectly clear...
The disclosure law seems to have worked as intended here.
Far from being a "hazard", the neighbor here failed to do the
conscionable thing whether the requirement for disclosure existed or not.
When faced with the prospect of spending some money to have a repair
done or negotiating the cost out of a sale price, she instead chose to
attempt to foist her problems onto the buyer.
(BTW, when you move, let us know, Bob. It's extremely unsafe to be a
neighbor--it seems you're a carrier for catastrophes.) :)
Again, that's not what the state (-wide? not sure of its source) form said. It
didn't require a "repair" but it was worded to the effect of "has there ever
Thanks for the education. I'll be selling this house, likely in the Spring.
I'll check out the particulars closer when I do (though there are no defects -
house is only three years old).
Many (RE agents included) have had their asses sued off for undisclosed
defects. My wife worked for an agent who had been sued, successfully, for
some really questionable stuff. E&O insurance had jumped substantially.
On 11/13/2011 7:11 PM, email@example.com wrote:
...[list elided for brevity]...
The above is still, as far as I was able to discover on the VT State web
site the limit of the actual legislation covering residential real
There is quite a lot of additional stuff on shared residence (condos and
their ilk) and rental property, but they have no bearing on
single-family residential transactions.
I was not able (to my surprise) find a State-approved/issued
standardized form although I will say it was not an easy site to peruse.
It would require knowing accurate details of any given situation.
Obviously, as noted above, if there is a failure to disclose a material
defect, the recourse can be onerous and undoubtedly there are suits
filed both with and without merit. The agents are going to be on the
suit simply because they'll be seen as the target with the deeper
pockets in most cases.
I would suggest, however, that in an actual case, the disclosure of
petty defects or past repairs will have little if any mitigating effect
on the severity of any judgment if there actually were an undisclosed
The key is to be straight up and don't try to fudge around an issue.
As you say, definitely go to the source and learn of all the actual
legal requirements. Also be certain to ascertain on whose side any
agent or inspector is in any transaction--yours, the buyer's or perhaps
both. One of the key problems in such instances as Haller talks of w/
inspectors is they're working for the buyer and often in cahoots w/ an
agent representing same so they have motive to provide a list of as many
possible issues as can as opposed to simply providing an impartial
evaluation. It is also why I would never enter into any agreements or
sell w/o having legal representation even though many forego it on
account of the expense and being assured often that it's simply not
necessary. It is like other insurance, expensive when one doesn't ever
have a claim, but like the bank card commercial if it averts a
On 11/14/2011 10:06 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
One you hire for a pre-sale inspection or one working through an agent
representing you as opposed to the buyer's agent.
IOW, I'm saying if you're in the market to sell, you should be
proactive, not simply passively wait and try to respond/counter-punch.
I repaired the gutter leak, cleaned and sealed it. 15 minute job
but realtor insisted that repair be added to the disclosure form.
the buyer backed out anyway, the home inspector scared them
the first home inspector flagged no GFCI for garage sump pump.........
so i installed one
the second home inspector flagged the sump pumps GFCI, stating it was
bad to have a GFCI on a garage sump pump.....
the first home inspector flagged the main service panel for a faded
signature on the inspection sticker, you could see it had been signed
but the signature wasnt really legible First buyer insisted I have it
reinspected and it passed. cost 75 bucks
home inspector flagged a brand new water heater for gas leak, it
required replacement of main gas valve. plumber checked it before
replacement said it was fine no leak.
seems home inspectors look for non existent troubles to justify their
The experts can offer more opinions, but if I read your choices right, you
are trying to decide between something that's up to 1/8th of an inch thick
(the GAF product) and something whose thickeness is measured in microns.
Let me think...
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