Australian Property News

Seller disclosure papers to include flood data

Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2012 at 1:17 PM

Homeowners selling properties in Queensland could soon be forced to disclose flood searches to potential buyers.

The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommends the Queensland Government, Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and Queensland Law Society implement a way of alerting prospective buyers to flood risks.

The REIQ has welcomed the proposed changes but says any flood data must be accurate and cost-effective. Above all, it must be easier for buyers and sellers to obtain information about a property, before it’s too late.

“In the current transaction process, buyers run the risk of finding out relevant information about a property but being unable to act on it because the contract is already unconditional,” REIQ chief executive officer Anton Kardash says.

“We need to shift away from the contracts of today with their differing disclosure deadlines to a contract which is only signed once the majority of relevant information about a property has already been disclosed by the seller to the buyer.”

Kardash adds any disclosure statements should therefore be made prior to a contract of sale being signed.

“It would include information such as compliant smoke alarms, approved safety switches, pool safety issues, accurate flood data and any material facts, such as building approval searches and certificates about the property.”

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