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How To Find A List Of Non-Disclosure States

By Jamie Richardson | December 2, 2020

Real estate purchases and investments are major life accomplishments. Hence, real estate buyers and investors must ensure that they’re bagging the best deal with real estate professionals’ help. Real estate professionals like agents, consultants, and appraisers assist property buyers during the buying process.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) business concept. Businessman draw scheme representing Nondisclosure Agreement.

For real estate agents to provide exceptional advice and assistance, they’ll need accurate information that’ll help drive the buyer’s decision and purchasing experience. This is when real estate disclosures come into the picture. 

Real Estate Disclosure and Its Importance

Essentially, a real estate disclosure statement is a document involving a property seller and buyer wherein the seller writes all information of the property that they’re aware of. These pieces of information are crucial for the buyer’s decision-making process as this will affect how the buyer uses the property in a positive or negative way. 

Homeowners can easily cover up a structural issue in their property through cosmetic touch-ups, and not tell the future homebuyer about this issue. Property disclosure agreements protect homebuyers from these kinds of fraud. In this document, the details about the property will be enumerated, regardless if it’ll impact the property positively or negatively. 

If the property seller leaves out information on purpose, they can be sued or even convicted of a crime if their lack of disclosure caused harm and injuries to people. These cases are particularly prevalent in buying a property ‘as is,’ which is alarmingly a popular real estate trend today. Thus, if you’re a homebuyer, make sure not to waive your inspection rights.

These are the most essential information that sellers should always disclose:

  • Safety hazards
  • Death in the home
  • Repair and renovation history
  • Neighborhood nuisances 
  • Missing items
  • Water damage
  • HOA information

Why Some States Have Non-Disclosure Agreements

Despite the importance of real estate disclosure agreements, not all states and cities don’t choose to disclose these types of agreements to the public. While non-disclosures are ordered for privacy and security purposes, it’s a big disadvantage to the real estate agent and buyer, which will negatively eventually impact the seller. 

Since there’s specific information about a property, sellers can keep it private unless contacted by interested buyers. However, if you’ve attempted to search for properties in different states, you might notice that some properties don’t reveal their transaction sale prices to the general public. 

Typically, these non-disclosure states don’t necessarily require their property owners for non-disclosure of price, but it’s upon the property owner to submit the sale price to governing bodies. Another situation is that the governing body has records of sale prices, yet they can’t disclose it to anyone except the registered property owner or when the owner has requested it to be disclosed to an interested client.

Non-Disclosure Agreement Status of Different States 

Real estate marketplaces, like Zillow, utilize public state records to run their ‘Zestimate’ algorithms, which help determine the estimated market value of a property. Due to the absence of sale prices from more reliable public records, the proprietary formula used to compute for the Zestimate only includes the user-submitted data that’s highly inaccurate. 

Generally, the non-disclosure status of various states can be classified into three categories:

  • Full Disclosure States: These states allow disclosure of transaction sale prices in public records and there might be some value-related transfer fees. Full disclosure states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Virginia.
  • Non-Disclosure States: On another end, non-disclosure states don’t disclose sale prices in public records, but can be shown to assessment officials and local assessors. These states are as follows: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Neither Full nor Non-Disclosure: Lastly, these states stand in-between where there’s some level of public disclosure. Commonly, there aren’t definite disclosure laws and the sale prices will only reflect on public records if the seller submits one. These states are the following: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. 

Navigating In A Non-Disclosure State Using MLS 

Your desired property’s sale price is an essential element in making your financial planning and decisions, and it’s a huge inconvenience to browse through properties with non-disclosed transaction sale prices as you’ll never know if it’s a good or bad deal. Thankfully, property buyers can still determine a property’s sale price by browsing through Multiple Listing Services (MLS), which is a database of properties for sale within each state. 

However, if you wish to scan through a database from a certain region, there are some requirements like an annual fee and a real estate license specific to that state. Therefore, the best and most convenient way to do so is to collaborate with a real estate investor who has MLS access.

Bottom Line

Because of real estate disclosure agreements, a property buyer can discover important details and experiences of living inside a specific property, as well as assess the value of their purchase by knowing the transaction sale price. 

If you're a property buyer that’s currently on the hunt for a new home, make sure that you know your rights to inspect and know every property, and educate yourself about how the process changes in different states.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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