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Sellers have duties to disclose condition of property

Gone are the days in which houses and other residential properties were bought and sold on the principle of "let the buyer beware."

While in former times the purchaser of a house would be expected to conduct an inspection of the property if he or she had a concern about the house's condition, now, Nevada law requires sellers of property in the greater Las Vegas areas to affirmatively disclose several things about the property they are selling. This is so even if the information disclosed is unflattering or even causes a deal to fall apart.

Sellers of residential property in Nevada actually have several separate obligations regarding the information they must disclose. Because there are several such obligations that can in some cases raise important legal questions, it may be best for a buyer or seller of homes, especially those who are doing so frequently for investment purposes, to consult with an attorney with experience in real estate law with any questions.

By way of example, however, one of the easier disclosures for one to understand is the obligation for a seller to fill out a state-prescribed form called a "Seller's Real Property Disclosure." This form requires the seller to give an accurate and complete evaluation of the property's condition, which will include answers to questions about several defects.

While the seller must explain any defects on the property, a seller does not have an obligation to guess whether or not there is a defect or disclose a problem that he or she knows nothing about. Not properly completing the form by revealing all known property defects, however, can land a seller in serious legal hot water should the buyer later have problems with the home's condition.

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