Each state has their own rules regarding what home sellers must tell their buyers before an official sale can take place. California has some pretty specific standards when it comes to full disclosure—that way the buyers knows exactly what they’re getting into. If a seller purposefully holds back, they could be opening themselves up to a lawsuit.
California law requires sellers to complete the “Transfer Disclosure Statement” (TDS) and the Natural Hazard Disclosure Report/Statement, and to provide information about registered sex offenders in the area. Depending on the area, you may need to provide additional details about special zoning regulations or other unique information. After the buyer receives the disclosure forms, they have three days to decide whether or not they want to go through with the purchase.
Transfer Disclosure Statement
The TDS is a comprehensive form required by California Civil Code Section 1102. You can find a draft version online or ask your real estate agent for one. You’ll be required to answer a series of questions about the property regarding:
- Defects with the foundation
- Presence of hazardous materials, such as lead, asbestos, and radon
- Zoning violations
- Additions, construction, or renovations that are not up to code
- Issues with the house settling
- Drainage problems
- Issues with easements, citations and abatements
- Any feature of the house which may be defective or malfunctioning
For example, you’ll need to tell the buyer if the electric garage door doesn’t work or if the roof is leaky. You should let the buyer know if you’ve done work without permits and if you share any property with the neighbors, like a common fence.
Many of these are “yes/no” questions, but if there are significant issues, you must provide additional details.
Natural Hazard Disclosure Report/Statement
In this disclosure form, you’ll be required to tell the buyer if your home is:
- In a flood zone
- At risk of flooding
- In an earthquake fault zone
- In a very high fire hazard zone
- In a seismic hazard zone
The Natural Hazard Disclosure is much shorter than the TDS, but just as important. In general, the more you disclose, the better. Transparency is crucial during the real estate transaction process.
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When you’ve got Global Point on your side, you don’t need to worry about the details of your big move. Our highly qualified agents offer comprehensive relocation services for businesses and individuals, including assistance with all required forms. For more information, give us a call today at (562) 221-0055. We operate throughout Southern California.