Buying a new home or property – in Ohio or elsewhere – is a massive undertaking for anybody. It includes many difficult processes and rules to follow before you purchase any home or property. For that reason, it is advisable to appoint a learned lawyer to perform the purchase procedures on your behalf. Fortunately, we are here to make matters simpler. This article should provide you with the key things you need to know about Ohio real estate laws and the procedure of buying a home or property.
Most Ohio citizens would like to know about the condition of the home or the property before buying it. Furthermore, they also want to know the remedies if the seller fails to perform his duties regarding the agreement of purchase or sale.
According to Section 5302.30 of the Ohio Revised Code, the seller must first of all fill in a Disclosure Form and then provide it to the potential buyer.
The importance of the disclosure form in Ohio real estate laws
The disclosure form submitted by the home or property seller or by the realtor will help the home or property buyer discover the problems or the defects of the home or property. The buyer will, as a result, receive the information about the following once the seller fills in the disclosure form:
- Roof leaks
- Electrical problems
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Pets and so on
Ohio real estate laws mandate that this disclosure form is only used for the sale of any residential home or property.
Ohio disclosure law requires the seller to disclose only the defects which he actually knows about. For that reason, the seller does not need to appoint an inspector to inspect the home or property to fill in the disclosure form. He just has to fill in the disclosure form to the best of his knowledge about the home or property.
The seller then has to provide the disclosure form to the potential buyer of the home or property who enters into a purchase contract. However, the buyer has the right to cancel the purchase contract after receiving the disclosure form from the seller. He must do so before closing the sale, within 30 days of signing the purchase contract and within three days of receiving the form itself.
What does the Ohio Seller’s Disclosure Form Cover?
The Ohio disclosure form the seller fills in covers the following items according to Ohio real estate laws:
- Water supply
- Sewer system
- Water leakage or accumulation problems
- Basement/crawl space
- Interior and exterior walls
- Termites and other wood-destroying insects
- Electrical system
- Air conditioning
- Fireplace and chimney
- Any built-in appliances, like a water softener, security system, microwave, or oven
- Lead-based paint
- Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation
- Radon gas
The seller is also asked to disclose the existence of underground storage tanks, wells, floodplains and erosion problems. In addition, they must also disclose to the potential buyer any zoning violations or pending assessments and details about the homeowners’ association. Another thing the seller must disclose is whether there are any issues regarding boundary lines.
Finally, the seller may add any additional details in the final section of the form.
More recently, the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing added some more items the seller must disclose as per Ohio real estate laws in October 2012. They are as follows:
- Any oil, gas, or mineral right leases on the property
- Abandoned underground mines (directing purchasers to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for additional information)
- Assessments, including fees or abatements
- SIDs (Special Improvement District), CIDs (Community Improvement District), and LIDs (Local Improvement District) in cases where the property is within a community run by a homeowner’s association.
If you have any further queries regarding Ohio real estate laws, please do get in touch with our learned real estate lawyers.