Purchasing a Massachusetts home involves a major investment, so you want to make sure you do your due diligence before making things official. Each state has its own guidelines when it comes to what the seller has to disclose to you about a home ahead of a sale. Understanding what these disclosure rules are may help you make the right decision when the time comes to buy.
According to RealEstate.Boston.com, there are different rules governing what brokers and realtors have to tell you when selling a home and what the seller has to tell you.
Seller disclosure requirements
In Massachusetts, a seller has a legal obligation to disclose only two things. The first is whether there is any presence of lead paint that exists in the home. The second is the condition of the home’s septic tank. The seller’s listing agent may give the seller a document called a “seller’s statement of property condition” to try to determine more about a home’s condition. However, the seller has no obligation to complete the form if he or she chooses not to do so.
Realtor and broker disclosure requirements
Massachusetts laws dictate that a broker has an obligation to tell you anything about a property that could influence your decision to buy it. They also must disclose accurate information about the home if you ask direct questions about it.
Many homebuyers run into issues because a realtor’s disclosure obligations hinge on him or her having knowledge of a particular issue. A seller may be reluctant to share the full story on a property because it may make it tougher to sell the home, and a realtor is unable to inform you of a problem to which he or she is unaware.