Home Buying and Selling Process In Utah

Goals

To understand the buying and selling process of homes in Utah, specifically to determine anything out of the norm.

Early Findings

Initial research indicates that there are a few unusual or out-of-the-norm laws in buying and selling a home in Utah. However, there is a lot of information about the current state of the real estate market in Utah.

Home Selling Process

  • There is a lot of paperwork involved in selling a home, which is no exception in Utah. For a successful buying and selling of a home in Utah, the seller is expected to disclose certain home conditions to the seller legally.

Federal Seller Disclosure

  • Home sellers across the U.S. should understand that federal laws compel them to disclose the potential existence of lead-based paint in the home to buyers. This law targets home sellers with houses constructed before 1978.
  • Sellers should give home buyers a brochure available on the "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home - Real Estate Disclosure" page of the E.P.A. website in such instances.

Seller Disclosure Statutory Requirement In Utah

  • Sellers should tell potential homeowners whether there has been contamination because of the "use, storage, or manufacture of methamphetamines" in the home." This is the only disclosure explicitly required by Utah's statutory law.
  • However, in 2001, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that property sellers must "disclose known material defects that could not have been discovered by a reasonable inspection by an ordinary prudent buyer." In this case, material means something that could adversely affect its value or use.
  • Utah Code. Annot. § 57-1-1 outlines disclosures that sellers do not have to make.

Sellers' Disclosures to Avoid Legal Liability

  • Home sellers should provide information about their knowledge of "zoning or legal violations on the property, legal actions affecting the property, location within a greenbelt, damage to the roof, past-due utility payments, problems with culinary water, damaged sewer or septic tanks, damaged heating and cooling devices, damaged equipment, damaged features, damaged appliances, damaged fireplace or stove, termite damage, rot, mold, remodeling that affected a significant portion of the home, structural defects, boundary disputes, easements, electrical defects, water damage, hazards, toxins, location within the governance of a homeowners' association (H.O.A.), past-due assessments to the H.O.A., and any property damage claims reported to an insurance agency" to potential buyers.
  • The reason for the disclosure is to increase buyers' awareness of the issues in the home to prevent the chance of a nondisclosure or fraud suit.

Summary of Findings

  • During the one hour allocated for this initial research, we were able to find unusual or out-of-the-norm laws in buying and selling a home in Utah. We came across information that was not included in this research due to time constraints, but links to documents for further reading were provided. This information was for Utah and other states in the Mountain West region, which include the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming.

Research proposal:

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