A real estate purchase is likely to be one of the biggest purchases of your whole life. People invest significant financial resources into real estate transactions. Because of the time, effort, and money that is poured into them, disclosures in real estate transactions become critical. State law recognizes that buyers have the right to know what they are getting into with a real estate purchase. California in particular has extremely stringent disclosure requirements and sellers must make a number of disclosures about a property to the buyer. In fact, California law requires sellers to disclose everything from environmental hazards like floods, fires, earthquakes and more, to alerting the buyers of the sex offender registration maintained by law enforcement officials to make people aware of the location of such registered sex offenders.
The Importance of Disclosures in Real Estate Transactions
Sellers must disclose a rather extensive amount of information about a property to a buyer in a California real estate transaction. Property defects, for instance, must be disclosed. This means that if there was a leaky roof situation, it must be disclosed. It also includes disclosing deaths that may have occurred on the property within the past three years as well as any nuisances in the neighborhood like loud neighbors or barking dogs.
Generally speaking, sellers are required to disclose details about a property that would impact its value or usefulness. This means, in addition to property defects, property enhancements and improvements should be disclosed. Any renovations or upgrades should be disclosed. Furthermore, the seller should disclose whether the work was done with the requisite permits. Work done without the requisite permits would, of course run the risk of being done outside of code and carry certain safety and health risks as well. A buyer can crosscheck whether work was done with permits through the city building permit and zoning records. On top of all of this, sellers will be expected to disclose things like defects with major appliances and major house systems as well as pest issues, property line disputes, and liens on the property.
Disclosures are a crucial part of property transactions. Potential property buyers can be put on notice as to what they are getting into with the purchase of a property, both its assets and potential liabilities. A property does not need to be perfect in order to be worth buying. In fact, perfect property is not likely to exist anywhere. There will always be some issue or some aspect that may impact its value. A disclosure, however, allows the buyer the opportunity to weigh its pros and cons. It also protects a seller from future legal action by the buyer because the buyer was put on notice on what they were getting into with the property’s purchase.
Real Estate Attorney
Real estate transactions are complicated, but they also carry powerful consequences for those involved. To protect yourself and your best interests, talk to the real estate attorney team at BoyesLegal, APC. Contact us today.