There’s much to know about seller disclosure in Illinois. In addition to the disclosure requirements around the Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act passed in 1992, Illinois sellers are also subject to Illinois’ 1994 Residential Real Property Disclosure Act. These documents are required to protect not only the interests of the buyer, but full disclosure also benefits the seller as well. By disclosing known defects with the property to be sold, the seller is less likely to face litigation after the sale of the home has been completed and defects have been discovered by the buyer.
What Is A Seller Disclosure in Illinois?
A seller disclosure is a set of documents completed by the seller of a home, listing any known issues with the property and any remodel projects completed during the time they owned the home.
When selling a home in Illinois, certain disclosures must be made to prospective buyers regarding its physical condition, and that of the entire property.
Until the year 1994, Illinois law did not require sellers to volunteer information about the property to prospective buyers. Homebuyers had to ask all the right questions in order to be entitled to information about the property from the seller. Nevertheless, courts often held sellers liable for damages after buyers sued the sellers for having given too little information in response to their questions.
Types of disclosures Illinois home sellers must make
Illinois law requires a home seller, to tell a prospective buyer, in writing, about any material defects they actually know about. This means anything they’re aware of that affects the value, healthfulness, and safety of the property.
This could include things like past flooding and flood risk, unsafe conditions, municipal code violations, environmental issues, boundary line disputes, and defects in specified structures, components, and systems.
Sellers must make these disclosures prior to signing the sales contract, on a standard form discussed below. The disclosure is not meant to serve as a warranty or substitute for inspections, but to put the buyer on an equal footing with the seller during contract negotiations.
What does the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act require the seller to disclose?
The Residential Real Property Disclosure Report encompasses seller disclosure in Illinois. It covers 23 separate line items, some of which are:
- Was there flooding or leakage in the crawlspace or basement.
- Is the property in a flood plain.
- Are there defects in the basement foundation.
- Are there defects or leaks in the roof, ceilings or chimney.
- Are there defects in the plumbing or electrical systems.
- Are the radon levels safe.
- Are there unsafe asbestos conditions.
- Are there termites or other wood-boring insects.
- Are there any boundary line disputes.
Every person who is an owner, the beneficiary of a trust, contract purchaser, or lessee of a ground lease who has an interest in a residential real property is required to complete and sign the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report.
The Benefits of an Inspection for Seller Disclosure in Illinois
Many sellers choose to conduct an inspection before putting their property on the market. That allows them to price the property accurately, fix some defects rather than having to disclose them, and know what they’re in for when the buyers do their inspections. Sellers need to disclose any material defects discovered in the course of such inspections that they do not fix before offering the property for sale.
Contact Lucent Home Inspections today to discuss what your seller disclosure inspection needs are and schedule a time to have your inspection completed.
Note: Information in this blog post is meant to be used as a helpful guide, not legal advice. If you need legal help with a disclosure rule, please consult a skilled real estate attorney.