As you get to the end of your home purchasing process you will receive a Property Disclosure Document. What is this thing and why is it important?

Pursuant to La. R.S. § 9:3196, et seq., a seller of residential property must furnish to a potential buyer a Property Disclosure Document (“PDD”).  The PDD will contain a list of items the seller is required to answer yes or no about.  For example, the PDD asks if the home has ever had termites or if there are any known defects in the roof, interior walls, windows, foundation, etc. 

A potential buyer should take great care in thoroughly going over the answers the seller provides in the PDD. If there are any red flags, request further information and explanation. Any issues the buyer believes would affect the structure or value of the home are particularly important to address.  The failure of the buyer to conduct further investigations on issues presented by the seller can bar the buyer from recovering money from the seller in the event defects are later discovered after the closing. 

It is important to note that a PDD is not considered a warranty by the seller and does not allow the buyer to forego a proper inspection of the home.  However, a seller could be held liable for any errors, inaccuracies, or omissions of any information required to be delivered to the buyer if the error, inaccuracy, or omission was a willful misrepresentation.

If you have questions about your particular situation, make sure to seek advice from your attorney prior to the closing. Waiting too long could lead to problems down the road.