Monday, July 2, 2018

Some Sellers Will Have To Complete A New Real Estate Condition Report

This post is for you if you currently have residential real estate or vacant land for sale.  

Since you read this blog, you know about Act 338 and the new Real Estate Condition Report.  July 1, 2018 has come and gone, and Section 8 of Act 338 clearly says that "[t]his Act takes effect on July 1, 2018."  You have already completed a Real Estate Condition Report.  Do you have to complete the new Real Estate Condition Report required by Wis. Stat. § 709.03 as amended by Act 338?

You do not have to complete a new Real Estate Condition Report if your Real Estate Condition Report was furnished to the prospective buyer of your property on or before June 30, 2018:

Section 7. Initial applicability.
(1) Real estate condition and vacant land disclosure reports. The treatment of sections 709.03 and 709.033 of the statutes first applies to reports that are furnished on the effective date of this subsection. 

This rule appears to apply even if the prospective buyer does not make an offer until July 1, 2018 or later.  Since you furnished a Real Estate Condition Report that complied with the previous version of the statute, you do not have to complete a new Real Estate Condition Report that complies with the amended version of the statute.

What if you completed a Real Estate Condition Report but did not furnish it to any prospective buyer on or before June 30, 2018?  The answer to that question is less clear.

I disagree with those who will argue that sellers do not have to complete a new Real Estate Condition Report simply because they completed a Real Estate Condition Report that complied with the previous version of the statute.  Section 7 of Act 338 does not say that the amended version of the statute first applies to reports that are completed on the effective date; it says that the amended version of the statute first applies to reports that are furnished on the effective date.  

Within the context of Chapter 709, "furnished" means "provided" or "shared," as that is how "furnished" is used in Wis. Stat. s. 709.02(1) - the statutory subsection that requires disclosure of property conditions through a Real Estate Condition Report.  Wis. Stat. § 709.02(1) speaks of furnishing a Real Estate Condition Report to "the prospective buyer."  

Does that mean that once a prospective buyer goes away, you have to furnish a new Real Estate Condition Report that complies with the amended version of the statute to the next prospective buyer?  My original post supported that position, but I now reject it.  Section 7 of Act 338 speaks of "reports that are furnished" - not "reports that are furnished to the prospective buyer."

Does that mean that you have "furnished" a Real Estate Condition Report through sharing it on the Multiple Listing Service or on a real estate portal?  Or does that mean that you must have provided a Real Estate Condition Report that complies with the previous version of the statute to a prospective buyer?  Section 7 of Act 338 is silent on "furnished to whom," and silence breeds ambiguity.  Since the legislature did not clearly answer this question, sellers have an argument that they do not have to furnish a new Real Estate Condition Report if they shared the old one with the public, and buyers have an argument that sellers have to furnish a new Real Estate Condition Report unless the old one was furnished to a prospective buyer.  

I provide legal representation to people who are selling their home "for sale by owner," a/k/a FSBOs.  If you need help completing a new Real Estate Condition Report, please contact me at rudolphkuss@stevensandkuss.com

13 comments:

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  13. While there are a ton of residential inspectors present around us always luring us to get a home inspection done from them and many home inspection companies are offering numerous perks if we get a home inspection done from them, when it comes to a commercial inspection, the list narrows down to a limited number and the reason behind this is that commercial property inspection is something on a bigger level and it requires a lot of expertise in order to get it right. When we search with words like commercial property inspection near me while residing in Atlanta, we may get a handsome amount of commercial inspectors on the search results but we should know what to look for before taking any decision. Champia Real Estate Inspections is a company offering expert services for people who are looking for a skilled and experienced commercial real estate inspector to help them in their time of need. They have been working since 1987 and have a number of positive reviews which is a guarantee itself that you will not be disappointed when to get their services.



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