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When you’re buying a home, something that you want to see is a residential disclosure form. This form should tell you all kinds of information about possible defects in the home. 

On a residential disclosure form, the seller should be informing you about any defects they observe with the property. That doesn’t mean that the seller has to go through extra effort to find hidden defects, but it does mean that they have to disclose problems that you may be dealing with in plain sight. For example, if they are aware that one of the pipes could be clogged, it would be appropriate for them to tell you. 

Some of the areas of the home that may have defects that should be disclosed include:

  • Floors and walls
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Sprinkler system
  • Cooling and air conditioning
  • Water heater
  • Ceiling and attic fans
  • Doors and windows
  • Appliances

The seller should also give you information about the foundation, basement and structure of the home. They should tell you if they’ve had repairs performed or if there are any known problems with the structure of the property. If the basement leaks, this should be disclosed to you. Additionally, there should be information about the age of the roofing, your property boundaries and other disclosures that may matter to the sale of the property.

A residential disclosure isn’t always going to have all the defects a property has identified, which is why it’s still smart to have an inspection of the home. Once you receive the disclosure form, you can have it reviewed by your attorney. If you buy a property and find defects that were not disclosed, you may have a claim depending on the circumstances.