Buying a real estate property is tricky, especially when they come with traumatized incidents. Most sales contract states that seller needs to disclose anything and everything that happened in or with the house that is considered out of ordinary. Whether you need to let the buyers know about the incident or not depends on the incident itself. 

Let us start with the highway that is planned by the city near the seller’s house. Is the seller supposed to disclose it in the disclosure form? The answer is, maybe, because the buyer’s assessment of the property’s worth may change with this new information. What about the street widening in front of the house that will take about a feet from the front lawn? This is a gray area that depends on how the buyer or agent interprets it. However, the buyer needs to know about it as it is an encroachment that cannot be reversed. 

Another question that often comes to the seller’s mind is about disclosing termite eradication that happened many years ago. If there was a total eradication and the issue was fixed permanently, the buyer need not know about it. If there is a termite bond indicating that the problem is no longer there, showing it to buyer will assure him or her that the house is safe. Similarly, the flooding that took place in the portable garage in Lancaster City a decade ago when the previous owner moved in need not be disclosed as long as there wasn’t a recurrence when the current seller was living in that house. Many disclosure forms ask whether the incident happened within the last five years. Only those incidents need to be reported. 

So, how will the buyer know about the property being under airplane noise radar? This information is easy to find out with a quick look at the map of the locality. Airport noise is something a buyer is expected to know when the house is being shown. No disclosure necessary in this case. What about a problematic neighbor? Well, everyone in this country have the right to live in the property they like regardless of their personality. So, the seller doesn’t have to call the attention to that mean and nosy neighbor. 

How about the house being a crime scene on an October night in the 1980s. It is more likely that the house has gone through price reduction phases since it got sold after the murder, but unless the state says there is no need to disclose it. On a similar note, death by natural cause in the house need not be made aware of unless the state requires that the seller must. Last but not least, houses if they are close to less desirable areas, such as jail, cemetery and waste treatment plan should be disclosed only if the form says so. On the other hand, if the seller hears that any of these structures are coming up near the property in the future, it must be disclosed to potential buyers.