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A Deep Dive Into Understanding Maryland Home Disclosures

Understanding Maryland Home Disclosures

When it comes time to sell your home, a pile of paperwork will await you. While it’s tempting to simply sign on the dotted line and move on, this paperwork is crucial to protecting all the parties involved in the sale. Buyers, Sellers, Realtors, Title companies, and banks require documents to ensure the deal is done correctly.

You’ll want to pay close attention to your disclosure document as a seller. Anyone looking to buy a house in Maryland will expect a disclosure from the Seller to provide an accurate picture of the property they are about to buy. By accurately completing the disclosure and being forthcoming about any issues with your property, you are protecting yourself against future legal action if problems arise.

Disclosure vs. Disclaimer

When you sell your home in Maryland, you can choose how to inform a Buyer about issues with your home. You’ll need to fill out either a disclosure or a disclaimer.


The disclosure exists to create transparency in the transaction and is the primary way you will inform the Buyers about the condition of your home. This disclosure is what Baltimore home buyers are looking for to feel confident about the decision to proceed with the transaction.

When you fill out a disclosure, you will share everything you know about the property you sell. Buyers don’t expect a flawless disclosure; they expect an accurate one. Every property has issues, and Buyers need to know precisely what they are.

Anything you disclose to a Buyer before the sale of a home protects you from future legal action. But Buyers have three years to come after you in court for problems they believe were covered up. And the law stands behind the process of disclosures. To avoid lawsuits, you must be thorough and transparent in your disclosure, giving you peace of mind.


The alternative is to fill out a disclaimer instead of a disclosure. You will use a disclaimer form to sell a home “as-is.” This tells a Buyer that the home has known issues, but no repairs will occur during the sale.

In a broader sense, a disclaimer also offers legal protections for the Seller. While it acknowledges an “as-is” sale, Sellers must still disclose the home’s known health and safety issues.

A disclaimer isn’t ideal for a typical home sale. It is a tool that is a good option for a home that has fallen into disrepair. Buyers will accept a disclaimer when they know a home needs extensive work. Often, when significant renovations are in the future, the details of a disclosure aren’t necessary.

While a disclaimer is a valuable tool for certain home transactions, it can also serve as a red flag. Traditional Buyers may be unwilling to proceed with a sale using a disclaimer because it indicates major unknown issues.

Completing a Disclosure

Filling out a disclosure is a straightforward process. It will guide you through your home’s different elements and allow you to note anything abnormal. The disclosure will take you through a home’s major components and give you an opportunity to mention any additional concerns. Here are the basic elements:


Structural issues can be expensive and pose a safety hazard. Failing to disclose known structural issues sets you up for potential legal consequences. Structural components include:

  • Foundation: Note anything of concern, such as cracks, bowing, settlement issues, or shifting.
  • Roof: Provide information about the age and condition of your roof and any signs of potential leaks or damage.
  • Basement: Disclose any signs of moisture or history of flooding in the basement.
  • Other Structures: Address any additional concerns about the home’s structure.


The systems in your home keep it functioning and are crucial to your well-being. You can inform the buyer about the condition of your home’s systems so they can anticipate future replacements or repairs. Systems cover the home’s:

  • Air Conditioner: Provide information about your air conditioning system, if it works as expected, and any rooms that are not air-conditioned.
  • Heating: List the information about your home’s heat system and any defects.
  • Plumbing: Disclose any plumbing concerns, clogs, leaks, or ventilation issues.
  • Electric: Note the type of electrical system in your home and any issues with circuit breakers, outlets, or wiring.
  • Septic: If you are on a septic system, provide the age of the system and information about recent maintenance.
  • Water: Provide information about your water source and any water treatment systems that your home has, including information about sprinkler systems.


The materials used to build your home should stand the test of time. Include any of your home’s failing, damaged, or unsafe materials in the disclosure. These could include:

  • Insulation: Write what you know about the age and condition of your insulation and areas that it may be missing.
  • Hazardous Materials: You must disclose any known risky materials used in your home. You must inform buyers about known chemicals like asbestos, lead, or radon.
  • Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors: Your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be updated and functional. If not, make a note of it.
  • Material Defects: Any concerns with the materials used to build your home must be listed. Even if there isn’t a specific category on the form, list any and all defects.


The disclosure covers not just the home but the entire property. Include any information about potential issues with the property so the buyer is informed before the sale is complete. These could be issues with:

  • Drainage: Note any drainage issues you have encountered on your property, including flooding.
  • Insects: Buyers need to know about insects, especially termites or other bugs that can damage the structure of your home.
  • Zoning Restrictions: If your home has zoning restrictions, include that information.
  • Flood Zones: Provide information about your home’s location in a flood zone.
  • Historic Areas: A historic area often indicates certain expectations about the maintenance and upkeep of the home. Ensure the buyer knows this by listing it in the disclosure.
  • Home Owners Associations (HOAs): Provide any information about the HOA your home is in.

A disclosure form is extensive, all-encompassing, and important to your real estate transaction. In Maryland, it will protect you when you sell your home. Take your time, do it right, and rest assured that a perfect home isn’t the goal.

About Express Homebuyers

About Express Homebuyers

Express Homebuyers was founded on the principle that every homeowner deserves respect, understanding, and a fair, timely offer.

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