What if the seller won’t sign the Lead Based Paint Form? 

Two answers.

If you are listing side?  Get it signed, no question, no matter what it takes. 

But what if you are the selling side?  Most common, is that you are representing a buyer on home that the lender foreclosed upon and is now selling as a resale (“real estate owned or “REO”) and the seller/listing broker will not provide you with a Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure Form.   Federal law requires a seller to disclose lead-based paint hazards in residential property built before 1978; there is no exception for an REO sale.

But the REO seller won’t provide or sign the Lead Form?  They declare their as is form is adequate? What to do?  Have your buyer sign the Lead Form blank and ensure they get a copy of the Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home .

It is the Seller and not the Buyer that must produce the form, but more importantly in real estate sales it is the Seller’s Broker and not the Buyer’s Broker that is named in the federal code. 

The lead based paint federal statute (Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act Of 1992 (Public Law 102-550), As Amended Through April 21, 2005)  states the Seller shall provide the buyer with a lead hazard information pamphlet, disclose to the buyer the presence of any known lead-based paint, permit the buyer a 10-day period inspection for the presence of lead-based paint hazards and that “…each Seller initial in each space…” where provided.  The bank is the seller, they must initial, it is federal code.

But you are the frustrated buyer’s agent.  You are trying to get the signature from the Seller on the Lead Form. What to do?  Follow the above instructions; get the buyer the Lead Form; have the buyer sign where indicated and ensure they get the pamphlet.  It is then the Seller’s Broker concern.  The statute in the “compliance section” requires the “agent, on behalf of the seller or lessor, to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.” 

Educate the listing agent that you need the form, but it is really their issue if there is an audit.  Tell them that the fines for not complying are hefty “for each violation …of [the] Act shall not be more than $10,000.”

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