Use of Property Disclosure Statement

Q: My seller client is listing a piece of commercial property with me. Does the seller have to give the purchaser a property disclosure statement, like you do in residential  transactions? Since the property is not for residential use, do I need to be concerned about equal opportunity principles?

A: The answer to your first question is “no,” a seller does not have to give a purchaser of commercial property a property disclosure statement. The N.C. Residential Property  Disclosure Act applies to transfers of “residential real property consisting of not less then one nor more than four dwelling units.” N. C. General Statutes §47E-1. There is  currently no parallel statutory requirement in N. C. that a seller of commercial property provide the purchaser with a property disclosure statement. However, it is certainly not  prohibited, either, so if the seller wishes to do so, that is certainly the seller’s option (NOTE: NCAR does not have a standard commercial property disclosure statement form). Remember that no matter what type of property it happens to be; a real estate agent must always disclose to a purchaser all material facts that the agent knows or  reasonably should know about the property.

As to your second question, yes, you do need to be concerned about equal opportunity principles. Article 10 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics says that REALTORS® shall  not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity, nor  may they be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person on the basis race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual  orientation, or gender identity. Article 10 applies regardless of the character of the property.

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