Attorneys should note that G.S. 47E-1 through G.S. 47E-10, the "Residential Property Disclosure Act," became effective July 25, 1995 and applies to contracts entered into on or after January 1, 1996. G.S. 47E-2 sets forth transactions exempted from the act, one of the exemptions being a transfer involving the first sale of a dwelling never inhabited.
G.S. 47E-4 sets out required disclosures for transfers described in G.S. 47E-1 (and not exempted by G.S. 47E-2). A disclosure form is set forth in G.S. 47E-4(b). Pursuant to G.S. 47E-4(a) the statement shall (1) disclose those items which are required to be disclosed relative to the condition of the property and of which the owner has actual knowledge; or (2) state that the owner makes no representations as to the condition of the real property or any improvements to the real property except as otherwise provided in the real estate contract.
G.S. 47E-5(a) states that the owner shall deliver the statement no later than the time the purchaser makes an offer to purchase, exchange, or option. It can be in the real estate contract, an addendum or separate document. If the delivery is made after the purchaser makes an offer, the purchaser can terminate any resulting contract or withdraw the offer no later than 3 days after the purchaser receives the statement. See G.S. 47E-5(b), which sets forth the procedure. These rights are waived if not exercised before the earlier of settlement or occupancy by the purchaser in the case of a sale or exchange.
The new act contains provisions relative to change of circumstances (G.S. 47E-7), and a real estate agent's or broker's duty (G.S. 47E-8).