We all know that the majority of home sellers in Louisiana are required to provide a property disclosure form to potential buyers. After all, if there’s something they know about the house or land, it’s important to share that information with purchasers – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most of this information will come out during a good home inspection, but there are definitely other questions that buyers want to know the answers to.
That’s why we think that the Louisiana Real Estate Commission dropped the ball with the recent changes to the required disclosures. You see, in the past, sellers had 3 options when answering questions like “are there any defects regarding the roof?” The answers were either Yes, No, or Not Known. As it happens, someone filed a lawsuit against a seller who answered No to a question and it resulted in the 2018 version containing only 2 answers. Today, Yes or Not Known are the only available answers a seller can give.
How is this in the best interest of home buyers, which is the entire point of the state requiring disclosures? Particularly when “Not Known” is given as an option to questions such as “is there flood insurance on the property?” or “does seller have a flood elevation certificate that will be shared with buyer?”.
We feel your home buying pain when you sit down to review seller disclosures and they read like something is being hidden from you because the majority of the answers are NK (not known). We know it seems a bit shady. Or evasive. Or unclear. Or even misleading. But we are bound by the laws in place, so we’ll just continue to advise you to do all of your due diligence either before making an offer or during your inspection period.