A property disclosure form is not required in Atlanta, Georgia.

A property disclosure form is not required in Atlanta, Georgia.

What are the exceptions to disclosure laws in Atlanta?

Most states in the U.S. require a seller’s property disclosure form when selling a house. According to RocketMortgage.com, “a Seller’s Disclosure is a legal document that requires sellers to provide previously undisclosed details about the property’s condition that prospective buyers may find unfavorable.” The seller disclosure protects the buyer to a degree from buying a house with hidden defects. Since a seller’s disclosure isn’t required in Georgia, it’s known as a “caveat emptor” seller’s state. Caveat emptor is Latin for “buyer beware.”

The state of Georgia and a few other states don’t require a seller’s property disclosure when selling a house. In Georgia, there are three exceptions to this “buyer beware” law that a seller must disclose: 

  • There is a fiduciary relationship between the buyer and seller. 

  • The seller is aware that there is a problem in the house that could be a health or safety risk. 

  • The buyer asks the seller directly about specific problems. 

The origins of caveat emptor or “buyer beware” law 

This law has its origins in a 1603 common law case in England, Chandelor v. Lopus. A Mr. Lopus purchased what he thought was a bezoar stone from a goldsmith named Mr. Chandelor. Bezoar stones are sometimes found in the intestinal tracts or stomachs of animals and were purported at the time to have great healing powers. During the transaction, Mr. Chancelor said he thought it was a bezoar stone but couldn’t be sure.

Later, Mr. Lopus sued for the £100 purchase price. The court ruled that Mr. Lopus had no right to a refund because Mr. Chandelor had told him he wasn’t quite certain the stone was a bezoar. The Chandelor v. Lopus ruling has impaired many consumer protection remedies in the following centuries and is why, to this day, we have no seller disclosure statement requirements in Georgia. 

Some things a house seller must disclose to a potential buyer in Atlanta 

As mentioned earlier, anything that could pose a risk to health or safety must be reported. Some of these include:

  • Any recent repairs  

  • Known issues with the roof, HVAC,  plumbing, or foundation  

  • Lead paint if the home was built before 1978  

  • Electrical wiring not up to current standards 

  • Galvanized plumbing 

Furthermore, even though seller’s disclosures aren’t required in Atlanta, a seller must honestly answer a direct question when asked. For example, if you include appliances with the house sale and the stove isn’t working properly, you must answer honestly if the buyer asks about the stove’s condition. Otherwise, you could be sued in court down the road.

How to sell an Atlanta house “as is” 

If your house has problems that you can’t afford to fix, or that you just don’t want the hassle of fixing, consider selling to HomeVestors® in Atlanta. We buy houses in all sorts of conditions, from houses with bad roofs, failing HVAC systems, and fire damage to houses that just need some cosmetic fixes.  

If your house has safety problems like lead paint or galvanized plumbing, no worries—we can take care of that. Simply contact us to make a free, no-obligation, in-person appointment with one of our friendly Atlanta property specialists. We’ll take a tour of your house and answer your questions. We can often give you a fair cash offer the same day. If you accept our offer, we can frequently close in as little as 3 weeks. 

We charge no commissions, have no hidden fees, and pay typical closing costs. We’re honored to have earned a 95%* customer satisfaction rating and amazing reviews from our sellers. We’d love to work with you on selling your house. Get in touch with us for more information about selling your Atlanta house to HomeVestors.