On Friday, September 22, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an amemedment that could have a significant impact on how residential real estate is sold in New York. Under the previous version of the law, enacted in 2001 by then Governor Pataki, a home seller was required to disclose certain knowledge pertaining to the condition of the property being sold, to the purchaser. The disclosure was mandatory. The penalty for non-compliance, however, was a mere $500. Most sellers, with very few exceptions, opted for paying the penalty rather than taking on the liability of misstatements through the disclosure.
The newly amended law adds several questions to the disclosure pertaining to flooding and water intrusion. Most notably, the option of paying the $500 credit to the purchaser, in lieu of providing the disclosure, has been eliminated. A home seller must now provide the property condition disclosure to the purchaser prior to a purchaser signing a contract.
What will this mean for home buyers and sellers? Most likely a more transparent process for discovering the condition of a property, certainly a welcome development. The downside might be increased liability for sellers for litigation brought by unhappy, surprised, or misrepresented purchasers.
Thinking about selling your home in the near future? As this law is set to go into effect in late March of 2024, preparing for the change now might be in a seller’s best interest.
Contact me today to discuss potential strategy for pricing, marketing, and negotiating the sale of your home in today’s dynamic marketplace. Also, be sure to check with your lawyer regarding the legal ramifications of the newly amended property condition disclosure law.
Ron Cohen, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Rivertown Rose