Shining light on electrical disclosure

Sellers worry 1950s lighting system will kill deal

DEAR BARRY: Our home was built in the early 1950s and has a low-voltage relay system for lighting. We’re selling the home now, and our buyers have questions that we are unable to answer. All we know is that the lights have always worked. How can we adequately disclose the nature of this unusual electrical system to the buyers? –Sally

DEAR SALLY: Low-voltage lighting systems are unusual in residential construction. Their essential purpose is to provide light with reduced energy and increased fire safety. Most of these systems date back to the 1950s. Some were installed by qualified electricians, but many were the works of "inventive geniuses," whose creative imaginations outweighed their electrical experience.

The results, in some cases, were systems that were functional but could not be serviced or comprehended by many electricians.