Seller’s disclosure forms aren’t required in Alabama.

Seller’s disclosure forms aren’t required in Alabama.

man signing house forms
Real estate laws vary from state to state. Alabama is one of the few states that have a “caveat emptor” rule. Caveat emptor is Latin and translates to “buyer beware.” According to, “The short list of states that lean toward caveat emptor is Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming. 

Caveat emptor means that a house seller need not inform the buyer of negative issues or risks pertaining to the house or property, with only a few exceptions. Most other states require a house seller to fill out a standard “seller’s disclosure” form that notifies the seller of problems or flaws with the property. Seller’s disclosure forms protect the buyer, but in Birmingham, the potential buyer must be proactive and cautious and understand what questions to ask the seller.

In Birmingham, it is the buyer’s responsibility to ask lots of questions, record the answers, and have the property inspected by professionals. Sellers do not have to disclose any flaws. But if a prospective buyer asks questions, the house seller must answer them honestly.

According to, a highly regarded legal information website, “In a major Alabama case ... the buyer asked about water incursions or damage, the seller said there was none, and the buyer was unhappy to discover later that the house was full of rot and evidence of leakage." In this 2002 Supreme Court of Alabama case, the Court decided that although the seller was dishonest when asked directly about water issues, the buyers had signed the sales contract that stated the house was sold “as is” and ruled in favor of the defendants.”

Caveat emptor: Exceptions to real estate disclosure in Alabama 

Aside from sellers having to give honest answers to buyer’s questions, there are two other exceptions to the caveat emptor law in Alabama. One involves fiduciary relationships. A fiduciary, according to, is “someone who manages money or property for someone else. When you’re named a fiduciary and accept the role, you must – by law – manage the person’s money and property for their benefit, not yours.” Therefore, sellers are expected to give honest and complete information about the property’s condition.  

The other exception is a lead-based paint real estate disclosure. It’s a federal law that sellers must provide information about lead-based paint risks, even in Alabama.  

Although material defects in real estate aren’t required in a seller’s disclosure in Birmingham, it’s highly advised that a buyer insist on a property disclosure form of their own making, signed by the seller and including a checklist of all the buyer’s questions and seller’s answers. This form should include queries about water, sewer/septic, structural details, fixtures, appliances, etc.

Sell your imperfect Birmingham house without having to make any seller’s disclosures. 

If your Birmingham house has lead-based paint or other problems that can’t be swept under the rug, you can still sell it. We Buy Ugly Houses® buys houses “as is,” in all sorts of conditions and with all kinds of issues, from lead-based paint to structural defects, and we make fair offers based on your local community housing market.

Simply contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our friendly Birmingham property specialists. We’ll meet at your house, take a tour, and answer your questions. Often, we can give you a fair cash offer the same day.

If you accept our fair cash offer, you’re on your way to a quick closing, frequently in as little as 3 weeks.  

Why trust We Buy Ugly Houses® in Birmingham? 

Although there are other cash buyers in Birmingham with good intentions, they don’t have the connections and resources we have, not to mention the experience.

We’ve been in business since 1996 and have bought over 140,000 houses since then. Our long-term experience has taught us how to work around problems and cut through red tape. Our sellers give us a high 95%* customer satisfaction rating and terrific reviews. 

Call us at 866-200-6475 for your consultation to learn more about selling your Birmingham house to We Buy Ugly Houses.