For the average resident in North Dakota, there will be no single transaction that they complete with a higher financial value than a residential real estate purchase. People exchange hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for property and buildings, which means that they need to have a realistic understanding of a property’s value and conditions when making an offer.
Sellers want to make as much money as possible on a sale, so they might have an incentive to withhold information. What do they have to disclose under North Dakota law?
Sellers should disclose known property defects
There are myths about seller disclosures. For example, people think that the law requires a seller to report if they have ever seen a ghost or if someone has died at the house. There is no law about supernatural phenomena in the real estate code in North Dakota, and deaths are also not necessary to report.
However, if the seller knows that there are issues with the furnace or the foundation, then they have to disclose those issues to the buyer in writing. Some sellers will try to get around the disclosure requirements by listing a property in as-is condition or refusing to involve a real estate agent in the transaction.
A buyer who discovers major defects not disclosed by the seller after closing may be able to hold them or possibly their real estate agent accountable for that misrepresentation of the property, especially if there is evidence the seller knew about the issue and hid it from the buyer. Still, such claims are often difficult to prove, which is why carefully evaluating property before making an offer is so important.
Identifying potentially illegal behavior during a real estate transaction can help you protect your financial investment in your property.