Definition of "Seller Disclosure"

Donna Henry real estate agent

Written by

Donna Henryelite badge icon

Keller Williams Spokane

The seller disclosure is a statement made in good faith regarding the condition of the home he/she is trying to sell. There is a seller disclosure form – called “Form 17” - that is required by most states in the USA and, in it, the home seller must make it known to the home buyer any known structural defects like plumbing and electrical problems, and any history of problems with flood, sinkholes or other prior relevant damages to the property and its land.

Although deliberate misrepresentation within this statement can result in liability charges, the seller disclosure is not a substitute for a home inspection, nor warrants anything.

The contents of a seller disclosure can vary from state-to-state  - sometimes from county to county! - but a typical form 17 contains information about:

  • Structural, electrical and plumbing status of the house
  • Title of the home and any ownership problems
  • Hazards like lead paint, toxic mold, asbestos, radon etc.
  • Water sources, rights and contamination
  • Flood danger and previous flood damages

Most of these forms have questions for the home seller to reply to or boxes to check with “don’t know”, so it’s normal that one detail or another slips away. Plus, a lot of times you will deal with a home seller that has no “in-person” knowledge of the home. Like an investor who bought the house to flip it, so he/she doesn’t know what it “feels” like living in there and their seller disclosure might misrepresent some details of it. That’s why, like we’ve said, a home inspector is still needed to avoid nasty surprises down the road.


Need help as a:

I'm interested to:


I work in:

Reach out to the local professionals for help
I agree to receive FREE real estate advice.

Agents, get listed in your area. Sign up Now!

Here's what you'll get:

1. Full zipcodes coverage for the city of your choice for 3 months

2. The ability to reach a wider audience

3. No annual contract and no hidden fees

4. Live customer support/No robo calls

$75 - Any City - 3 Months Coverage
loader gif

Please wait ...

I agree to receive FREE real estate advice
I agree with Terms & Conditions and Section 5-5.9.

Real Estate Tips:

The home inspector is a must, but a good real estate agent will go through everything within the seller disclosure and will be able to point out other non-structural red flags for you too. And the place for good real estate agents is right here! Feel free to contact the one you like the most and good luck!

image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.


Popular Real Estate Terms

Voluntary giving up of a right of a lien, usually on a temporary basis. The waiver may be explicitly stated or implied. An example is when a lender waives its right of lien against ...

(1) Licensed broker employed to represent and match both buyers and sellers. Usually employs several real estate agents in an office. (2) Commission or fee charged to sell real estate or ...

Levied on those benefiting from the installation of a sewer. ...

A covenant real estate definition covers covenants in the context of residential real estate, condominiums, neighborhoods, or housing co-ops that are ruled by an agreement of the owner to ...

Real estate sales contract where possession and use is provided to the buyer, but the deed is kept by the seller until the full purchase price is met whereupon the title is placed in the ...

The minimum age required for legal competency ( in most states 18 years). ...

Considerations used by lenders in appraising a prospective homebuyer' credit application. They are: Character, Capacity (cash Flow), Capital, Collateral and Conditions (economic status) ...

Metal or wood channel attached immediately below or along the eaves of a building for the purpose of channeling rainwater away from the structure. The gutter prevents rain runoff from ...

Laws enacted by every state governing the activities and requirements of real estate salespeople and brokers. Upon satisfying the necessary age and residency requirements and satisfactorily ...

Popular Real Estate Questions