Callers have been confused about when sellers must provide the Seller’s Disclosure Notice to buyers. Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code says that the disclosure notice must be provided to a buyer on or before the effective date of the contract. If the seller does not furnish the notice on or before the effective date, Paragraph 7B(2) of the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) allows for the parties to stipulate how many days the seller has to provide the notice. However, a seller who provides the notice after the effective date gives the buyer the opportunity to terminate the contract for any reason within seven days after receiving the notice—or if the seller never delivers the notice, at any point prior to closing—and receive a return of his earnest money.

Laura Miller, associate attorney