Generally when selling a home, Wisconsin homeowners are required to provide buyers with a Real Estate Condition Report (“Report”). Wis. Stat. § 709.02.
The Purpose of a Real Estate Condition ReportThe purpose of this Report is to disclose any known defects in the property and to avoid any misunderstandings between buyers and sellers with respect to the home’s condition. The purpose of this article is to offer both buyers and sellers insight into Wisconsin law with respect to their rights and responsibilities regarding the Real Estate Condition Report. This is not meant as an exhaustive exploration of the law, but rather to afford general guidance, and readers are encouraged to seek the advice of counsel for their particular needs.
For Sellers:The purpose of the Report is to disclose any known defects in the home to prospective buyers. The Report must substantially conform and include the information stated in Wis. Stat. § 709.03. Among other things, the Report requires sellers to disclose whether they are aware of certain defects in the property. To be “aware” of defects means to have notice or knowledge of them. A “defect” is defined as a condition
- “that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the property;”
- “that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of the property;”
- or that if not repaired, removed or replaced would significantly shorten or adversely affect the expected normal life of the premises.”