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For Sale By Owner - Legal Issues


If you are selling your home yourself, the following list contains important issues you should know about.

Equal Opportunity Housing
It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, handicap, familial status, or national origin

  • In the sale or rental of housing or residential lots
  • In advertising the sale or rental of housing
  • In the financing of housing
  • In the provision of real estate brokerage services

Complaints may be reported to and investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development or may be taken directly to a U.S. district court. At the state level, complaints may be taken to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Disclosing Information about Your Property

Property Disclosure Form:
The State of Ohio, Department of Commerce provides a property disclosure form for sellers. Buyers are familiar with this form, and will most likely ask you for a copy of this form for your property. David suggests that you complete a copy of this form and have it available on request for prospective buyers. If the form is given to a buyer after a contract is executed, legally, the buyer will have 3 days to rescind the contract based upon the disclosed information.

Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. Federal law requires sellers to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.

Point of Sale Inspection/Compliance
Many municipalities require an inspection and correction of any violations of municipal code prior to the sale of a property. Ordering the inspection early prevents surprises later that may affect the sale.

Types of Deeds

  • General Warranty Deed
  • Limited Warranty Deed
  • Fiduciary Deed
  • Joint & Survivorship Deed (Joint Tenancy w/Right of Survivorship)
  • Sheriff's and Auditor's Deed
  • Quit-Claim Deed

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