Purchasing real property is a significant decision that involves the largest investment most people ever make. It’s important to complete your due diligence to ensure there are no surprises once the sale is complete.
However, some facts might escape your research. There are certain things a seller is legally required to disclose. If they fail to do so, you could take them to court.
Three required property disclosures
Your real estate transfer disclosure statement will provide information about the appliances included in the sale, as well as the age of the roof and on-site safety mechanisms for a pool or hot tub, among other details. The seller must also make you aware of known malfunctions or property defects.
County and city regulations may require sellers to inform buyers about the surrounding community. However, mandatory statewide disclosures include information about the:
- Presence of lead-based paint
- Resolution of previous methamphetamine contamination
- Likelihood of natural disasters, such as fault zones, flooding potential and fire hazards
In California, deaths within the past 3 years on the property, must be diclosed to a buyer.
Failure to disclose: protect your interests
If you become aware of problems that could negatively affect your health or property value, you should explore your right to seek compensation. Depending on the situation, you may have a case against both the seller and realtor.
Be sure you understand how to protect your interests before completing a property purchase. To spend your time and money wisely, learn about the legal requirements (and potential ramifications) of California real estate transactions.