When selling a home, it’s best to disclose as much as you can.
What do homeowners need to disclose about their house when selling?
Willfully omitting information or not disclosing material facts about a property is one of the most common reasons that buyers sue sellers after closing. California is a very strict disclosure state; we have laws that say sellers must disclose any material facts they know about the property to the best of their knowledge.
That’s typically done via a form called a transfer disclosure statement, or TDS. Often, this comes with an additional seller property questionnaire. These documents outline a series of yes or no questions, and if any of the answers are yes, there’s a section where you can elaborate.
Sellers commonly miss three key things on their disclosures that I want to touch on:
1. If the property is in an HOA. Disclose this to the buyer, along with any information about the homeowners association such as dues, financial assessments, or any sub-par conditions. If the home is in an HOA, we’ll send an HOA document package to the buyer within a few days after opening escrow.
2. Any repairs or defects the home has had. If you’ve completed any repairs, disclose what was repaired, why it needed it, and how it was remedied. Be sure to disclose any existing defects as well. Think about what you would want to know about the property if you were its buyer. If you’re in doubt, go ahead and disclose it anyway.
3. Whether your property contains lead paint. If your property was built before 1978, it could potentially contain lead paint, so you’re mandated by federal law to disclose that fact.
Being liberal with your disclosures will save you a lot of potential anguish later on in the process. If you have other questions about disclosures or anything to do with real estate, please give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you.