The North Carolina Real Estate Commission voted unanimously at their Feb. 15 meeting in Raleigh to move forward with a potential new rule that will add flood-related questions to the disclosure form that sellers must provide to potential buyers.
The move is the result of a petition that was filed in December 2022 by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council, North Carolina Justice Center, equity-advocacy group MDC Inc., the North Carolina Disaster Recovery and Resiliency School, the Robeson County Church and Community Center, and NC Field, an advocacy group for more inclusive communities.
The proposed questions include whether a home has previously had flood damage, whether it has a FEMA elevation certificate, and the cost of any associated flood insurance policies. There are also proposed questions regarding whether a damage claim has been filed through the National Flood Insurance Program, and whether a property owner has received federal funds in the past due to flooding damage.
Currently, the state of North Carolina requires home sellers to disclose whether a home is in a flood zone, and if a property is required to buy flood insurance. In Dare County, area-specific flood zone maps are available to the public via the Dare County website.
Per a press release from the SELC, these proposed disclosures have bipartisan support, with more than 80 percent of North Carolinians in favor of strengthening the state’s disclosure requirements in terms of flooding risks.
A public hearing by the Real Estate Commission will be held on the new rule change, and the new disclosure guidelines could go into effect as soon as July 1, 2023.