HOUSE BILL NO. 168
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. I
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 29, TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND SALESPERSONS, AND CHAPTER 25, TITLE 6, RELATING TO PROHIBITED TRADE PRACTICES AND SELLER'S DISCLOSURE OF THE CONDITION OF REAL PROPERTY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 29, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by renumbering Section 2912(a)(10) to (a)(12) and by adding new subsections (10) and (11) to Section 2912(a) which shall read as follows:
"(10) Violating the Delaware Consumer Fraud Act as found in Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code.
(11) Misrepresenting the availability of or content of the form of Seller's Disclosure of Condition of Real Property as provided in Subchapter VII, Chapter 25, Title 6 of the Delaware Code."
Section 2. Amend Chapter 25, Title 6 regarding Prohibited Trade Practices by adding a new subchapter VII as follows:
"Sub-Chapter VII. Disclosure of the Condition of Real Property.
§2570. Short Title.
This sub-chapter may be cited as the "Buyer Property Protection Act.
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Residential Real Property" means any estate or interest in a manufactured housing lot or real property, improved by dwelling units for 1-4 families.
(2)"Seller" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or trustee transferring residential real property.
(3)"Buyer" means any individual, partnership, corporation or trustee purchasing any estate or interest in real property.
(4)"Agent" means any individual, partnership, corporation or trustee defined as a Broker in 24 Del. C., §2901, acting on behalf of a Seller or Buyer of residential real property.
(5)"Sub-Agent" means any individual, partnership, corporation or trustee defined as a Broker or Sales person in 24 Del. C., §2901 acting on behalf of an Agent.
(6)"Final Settlement" means the time at which the parties have signed and delivered all papers and consideration to convey title to the estate or interest in residential real property being conveyed.
§2572. Disclosure of Material Defects.
(a) Except as excluded by Section 2577 hereof, a Seller transferring residential real property shall disclose, in writing, to the Buyer, Agent and Sub-Agent, as applicable, all material defects of that property that are known at the time the property is offered for sale or that are known prior to the time of final settlement.
(a) This disclosure shall be made in writing before the Seller signs the listing agreement and shall be updated as necessary for any material changes occurring in the property before final settlement.
§2573. Property Condition Report.
(a) The Agent, Sub-Agent or Seller, as applicable, shall give a copy of the Seller's Disclosure of Real Property Condition Report to all prospective Buyers ok. prospective Buyer's Agent prior to the time the Buyer makes an offer to purchase. This written disclosure form, signed by Buyer and Seller, shall become a part of the purchase agreement.
§2574. Other Inspections or Warranties.
The Seller's completed disclosure form is a good faith effort by the seller to make the disclosures- required by this subchapter, and is not a warranty of any kind by the Seller or any Agents or Sub-Agents representing Seller or Buyer in the transfer and is not a substitute for any inspections or warranties that the Seller or Buyer may wish to obtain.
§2575. Cause of Action.
The Buyer shall not have a cause of action against the Seller, Agent and/or Sub-Agent for: (a) material defects in condition of the residential real property disclosed to the Buyer prior to the Buyer making an offer to purchase; (b) material defects developed after the offer was made but disclosed prior to final settlement, provided Seller has complied with the Agreement of Sale; or (c) material defects which occur after final settlement.
This subchapter shall apply to transfers by sale, exchange, installment land sale contract, lease with an option to purchase, or ground lease of a manufactured housing lot, or residential real property, improved with dwelling units for 1-4 families.
This subchapter shall not apply to the following transfers of residential real property:
(a) Transfers governed by the Delaware Out-of-State Land Sales and Promotions Act where the property disclosure report required by that law is provided to a prospective purchaser.
(b) Transfers pursuant to Court Order such as transfers ordered by the Court of Chancery in the administration of an estate, trust or guardianship or pursuant to a Writ of Execution, by a trustee in bankruptcy or a receiver, by eminent domain, and transfers resulting from a decree for specific performance.
(c) Transfers to a mortgagee by a mortgagor in default by a deed in lien of foreclosure.
(d) Transfers by any Sheriff's sale for default on an obligation secured by a mortgage, judgment, tax or other lien.
(e) Transfers by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of the decedent's estate, guardianship or trust.
(f) Transfers from one co-owner to one or more other co-owners.
(g) Transfers made to a spouse or to a person or persons in the lineal line of consanguinity of one or more of the transferors.
(h) Transfers between spouses resulting from a property settlement incident to a divorce
(i) Transfers to or from any government entity.
§2578. Property Condition Report Form.
The Delaware Real Estate Commission shall develop a standard form or forms to be used as the Seller's Disclosure of Real Property Condition Report, for the disclosure of the condition of residential real property. This form or forms shall be available no later than October 30, 1993."
Section 3. This Act shall be effective for all contracts entered into on or after January 1, 1994.
Approved July 6, 1993.