We ask the real estate industry to voluntarily provide a disclosure statement about the risks of earthquakes and URMs; presently, we are not aware of any real estate company that routinely provides this information to either sellers or buyers.
We encourage providing this disclosure statement early—while the client is shopping, not when papers are being signed at closing.
We ask you to encourage any clients considering a real estate transaction to consider earthquake safety in all decisions. They should:
learn all they can about URMs and Utah’s brick problem
learn all they can about all geologic hazards (earthquakes, liquefaction, landslides, expansive and collapsible soils, debris flows, radon, etc.)
consider hiring a geologist to evaluate geologic hazards of the site and locality
consider hiring a structural engineer or trained builder to evaluate buildings under consideration
understand that Utah is a “buyer beware” state; generally, hazards that may impact the site or building under consideration will not be disclosed—they need to research such issues themselves
understand that most “standard” building inspectors commonly hired to evaluate buildings for a real estate transaction do not consider earth movement hazards or whether a building meets earthquake building codes
understand that some non-URMs may also have design flaws that make them vulnerable in an earthquake