The Pennsylvania residential real estate purchase agreement (“property sales agreement”) enables a prospective home buyer to establish a legal arrangement with a seller for the acquisition of real estate. The agreement addresses a variety of terms including the purchase price, closing conditions, earnest money, and other financial contingencies.
Ownership of the property can only be transferred lawfully if the buyer and seller consent to the contract terms and inscribe their signatures on the agreement.
Do Sellers in Pennsylvania Have to Disclose Property Defects?
Pennsylvania does require real estate sellers to disclose any material defects. Certain states do not require the seller to disclose all defects (caveat emptor), meaning the buyer assumes the responsibility to conduct a real property inspection to seek out any potential defects with the property. In those states, if a buyer fails to conduct a proper examination, they may not have a legal alternative to reverse the real estate transaction.
Required Seller Disclosures in Pennsylvania
Along with any material defects with the property, sellers in Pennsylvania will also need to provide the following:
- Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. According to Pennsylvania law, before a real estate purchase agreement can be signed, the seller must furnish to the buyer a Property Disclosure Statement mentioning any known material defects which could affect the buyer’s decision to purchase.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. Any home that was constructed earlier than 1978 must come with a disclosure upon the transfer of the property that includes any data concerning the presence of lead on the premises as well as educational materials that communicate the risks involved with coming into contact with the harmful substance.