Most states require home sellers to fill out a lengthy “property disclosure statement” that discloses a lot of important information to would-be buyers – but Georgia is somewhat unique. 

There’s no specific law that requires such complicated disclosures. The general idea is that it’s up to the buyer to beware – and if they fail, they suffer the losses. However, like most things in the law, the reality isn’t quite so simple. 

You must disclose known material defects

Although you do not have to make these disclosures until after an offer is made on your home, you do have to give the buyer a warning about any material defects in the property that they couldn’t easily discover with a routine inspection. This is true even if the buyer is willing to forgo the standard home inspection and take the property “as-is.”

You must answer any direct questions about the property truthfully

In addition, sellers are legally required to answer questions from would-be buyers with as much clarity and honesty as possible. That includes questions that you may think aren’t really important or things you’d rather not divulge. 

For example, a buyer may want to know if anyone ever died in the home or whether the home was ever the scene of a crime. They may simply want to know what repairs you’ve made to the home in the last five years. If you try to hide something or intentionally lie in response, you could later find yourself trying to defend your actions in court. 

Both sellers and buyers need to know how to protect their interests in any real estate deal. Legal guidance can make the entire transaction much safer and more secure.