Seller’s Obligation to Disclose

Things have sure changed from the days of caveat emptor, which is ancient Roman for Let the Buyer beware!

Full-DisclosureThese days, at least in California, the seller has statutory duties to disclose conditions and facts about the home as never before.

While you do not have a duty to thoroughly investigate, or to seek out, you do have a duty to tell all you know.

The disclosures go well beyond the condition of the home itself (those plumbing problems you were going to fix someday, and the little leak over the upstairs bedroom that you painted over.)

They extend to issues beyond the property: Barking dogs…that motorcycle gang that hangs out next door…the dumpster out your bedroom window that is emptied at 3AM.

It even extends to events…your grandmother died peacefully in her sleep? There was a murder?
Disclose it all.

Additionally there are disclosure requirements about earthquake zones, fire and flood zones, military ordnance, methane gas, other state and local retrofitting requirements. All this disclosure responsibility is laid at the seller’s door.

It may seem silly or even petty, but the consequences of not disclosing are considerable and far out-weigh any inconvenience.

Happily, there is a form that simplifies the job and helps jog your memory. There are companies devoted to statutory disclosure issues and we can make them available to you as well.

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