The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has mandatory disclosures that real estate agents are required to provide to sellers during the course of their real estate transactions. The federal government and the state also require a seller to disclose anything known about lead paint on the property. To be as transparent as possible with our sellers, we feel that it is important to understand these issues up front.
We are aware that some brokerages modify some of these forms from their original formats. We do not modify these forms. Therefore, we have also provided links to the original forms on the state’s website.
AGENCY DISCLOSURE NOTICE:
Agents are required to provide this form to consumers “at the first personal meeting to discuss a specific property”.
We think that buyers and sellers should know about the different types of agents that they can work with before they start working with an agent so that they can make an informed decision about the relationship that they will have and the services that they will get from the agent that will help them with one of the most important decisions of their lives.
Here is a link to the “MASSACHUSETTS MANDATORY REAL ESTATE LICENSEE-CONSUMER RELATIONSHIP DISCLOSURE” (aka Agency Disclosure) on the state’s website:
The form that we provide will indicate that everyone on our team and in our brokerage will work as your seller’s agents and we will represent your best interests 100% of the time. Fewer than one percent of the real estate brokerages in Massachusetts will guarantee that.
LEAD PAINT NOTIFICATION AND DISCLOSURE:
Under Massachusetts and federal law, this notification package must be completed by the sellers and given to prospective purchasers of homes built before 1978.
“Sellers and real estate agents who do not meet these requirements can face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 under state law; a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and possible criminal sanctions under federal law, as well as liability for resulting damages.”
The last page of the form should be completed by the seller and the seller’s agent before it is given to the buyers because the buyer’s signature is an acknowledgement that the buyer has received and reviewed the information provided. If the property has never been tested for lead paint, the seller should check the line that says “Seller has no knowledge of lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing.”
If a lead test has been done on the property and the results showed that lead paint is present, the seller must check the line that says “Known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards are present in the housing” and provide a copy of the report. If a lead test has been performed and the results do not show that lead paint is present, a copy of the report should be available to the buyers.
After you review this information, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the lead paint law or the mandated form.. Then we can have a conversation about how the lead paint law could affect your sale.
Below is a link to the CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION PROGRAM (CLPPP)
PROPERTY TRANSFER LEAD PAINT NOTIFICATION form on the state’s website. The seller(s) and the seller’s agent must complete the last page and provide it to the buyers:
OTHER SELLER’S DISCLOSURES:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not require a seller to provide any other specific disclosures, however, a seller must honestly answer any questions that a buyer may have regarding the property. A “seller’s disclosure” is often provided to the seller by the seller’s real estate agent to help the seller disclose, in writing, the details of the property being sold to the buyer. At GBHT, we have the seller complete a “seller’s statement” that will help us to accurately describe the property and limit the seller’s potential liability.
Seller’s are not required to pre-inspect a property in Massachusetts before putting it on the market.
Unless there is a significant issue that needs to be evaluated by a home inspector or contractor, we do not recommend pre-inspecting a home before putting it on the market.
As part of the home buying process, many buyers will include a home inspection contingency in their offer to buy a property.
In Massachusetts, home inspectors must be licensed by the state. Here is a link to the “Home Inspectors Consumer Fact Sheet” on the state’s website: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/12/12/Home%20Inspectors%20Consumer%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
PRIVATE SEWER REQUIREMENTS / TITLE 5 INSPECTIONS:
In order to sell most properties in Massachusetts, properties that are not connected to public sewer systems must pass a Title 5 inspection. Seller’s are typically responsible for the cost of the Title 5 inspection and arranging the inspection, which we can do upon request. Since approved Title 5 inspectors vary by the town that the property is in, please consult with us before ordering a Title 5 inspection.
We are occasionally asked if a property with a failed septic system can be sold without the seller having to repair or replace the system. There is a limited market for homes with failed septic systems, however, we have successfully sold homes with failed Title 5 inspections.
Here is a link on the state’s website with more information about buying and selling a home with a septic system:
Additional Information for Sellers:
Although we are not required to provide you with the following, the information below will help you understand more about the people that are involved in your real estate transaction, even if you do not see them in the course of your purchase.
Real Estate Appraisers Consumer Fact Sheet:
As part of the home financing process, mortgage lenders almost always require an impartial, independent real estate appraisal to confirm the property’s value before they approve a mortgage. Lenders use licensed real estate appraisers on their approved list for that purpose.
Our President, Sam Schneiderman, was a licensed appraiser and is happy to answer any of your appraisal questions.
He trained and supervised over 40 appraisers as well as Greater Boston Home Team’s agents. Freddie Mac reported that Sam’s appraisals were among the top 3% in the U.S. for accuracy.
Here is a link to the Real Estate Appraisers Consumer Fact Sheet on the state’s website:
If you have any questions or concerns about how to sell a home in Massachusetts, please feel free to book a free 20 minute phone consultation at www.TimeWithSam.com .