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Do I have to fill out a seller property disclosure, if I've never lived there?

Updated: Aug 22, 2019



Is a seller who has never lived in a property (e.g. a rental or flip property) required to fill out a seller property disclosure?


And the answer is…


YES!


Recently, there have been some questions about this. There are only a few instances that excuse a seller from the seller property disclosure obligation. Here they are:

a. A transfer made pursuant to a court order, including but not limited to a transfer under chapter 633 or 633A, the execution of a judgment, the foreclosure of a real estate mortgage pursuant to chapter 654, the forfeiture of a real estate contract under chapter 656, a transfer by a trustee in bankruptcy, a transfer by eminent domain, or a transfer resulting from a decree for specific performance.

b. A transfer to a mortgagee by a mortgagor or successor in interest who is in default, a transfer by a mortgagee who has acquired real property as a result of a deed in lieu of foreclosure or has acquired real property under chapter 654 or 655A, or a transfer back to a mortgagor exercising a right of first refusal pursuant to section 654.16A.

c. A transfer by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust.

d. A transfer between joint tenants or tenants in common.

e. A transfer made to a spouse, or to a person within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity of a person making the transfer.

f. A transfer between spouses resulting from a decree of dissolution of marriage, a decree of legal separation, or a property settlement agreement which is incidental to the decree, including a decree ordered pursuant to chapter 598.

g. A transfer to or from the state, a political subdivision of the state, another state, or the United States.

h. A transfer by quitclaim deed.

i. A transfer by a power of attorney

(Iowa Code 558a)


The disclosure asks for “any known problems”. It doesn’t say “while you lived in the home”. There are many questions that a seller would have knowledge of, even if they had never lived in the property. And, remember, “unknown” is also an acceptable answer.

Feel free to reach out to us at classes@realestateconcepts.net and be sure to check out our class schedule at Concepts RE School live classes.

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