Home buying is a big step for anyone. It also brings with it some critical legal issues. Those legal issues are not simple. For that reason, a home buyer needs to appoint a real estate lawyer or a real estate agent who is well versed in Iowa real estate laws.
Like other states in the USA, Iowa has real estate laws for its citizens. These fall under the governance of the Iowa Code. It is very important for any citizen to know the basics. Fortunately, we are here to make it easy to find out more about the Iowa real estate laws.
Benefits of appointing a Real Estate Agent
There is a huge benefit for a home buyer to appoint a real estate agent in Iowa. The real estate agent will help the buyer to protect their rights. This is an agent’s legal responsibility and is called “fiduciary duty”. This will include disclosure or utmost care and honesty. This will help both parties avoid conflict and ensure a sound agreement.
Disclosure from the Seller under Iowa real estate laws
According to Iowa Code Section 558A, the disclosure of the selling property’s defects is mandatory to the home or property seller. The law states that a seller has to provide a written disclosure statement to the potential buyer. The law also advises the seller to provide the disclosure statement to a buyer in person by hand or via registered mail.
If the seller fails to give a disclosure statement to the buyer before the formal offer is made, then the buyer may withdraw the offer or breach the acceptance without any liability. The seller also has to file a disclosure statement to the country recorder or clerk. This procedure is unique to Iowa. As per Iowa real estate laws, a home seller cannot give the disclosure in an oral form. They must provide it in writing.
The Iowa Department of Department of Licensing and Regulation has created a standard disclosure form. The form has six pages. The home seller must fill in the details of any defects in this form. The seller then has to certify that all of the information is accurate as per the condition of the property. Finally, the buyer will sign after inspecting the home or property.
A home or property seller need to disclose the following defects:
- Plumbing defect
- Any sewage problems
- Water leaks
- If the home contains wet basements
- Any heating or air conditioning problems
- Roofing problems
- The presence of any environmental hazards like radon or asbestos.
If the seller fails to disclose any defects properly or provides the information dishonestly, then the buyer may file a lawsuit against the seller to get the remedies. However, this process will cost a lot and take a long time. For that reason, Iowa real estate laws suggest the buyer inspects the property thoroughly before signing the agreement.
If you have any further queries about Iowa real estate laws, then please do not hesitate to contact our qualified lawyer.