What do I need to tell about property I am selling? Pt. 1

The world of real estate can be equally exciting as it is complicated. Usually when many of us are buying or selling a home, there is some sort of time rush pushing the process along. Despite time limitations, however, it is not okay to disregard the various details of real estate law. 

This post will discuss one area of real estate law related to selling a home. Specifically, what do you need to disclose to a seller about a property in order to avoid the fallout of a sale down the line? It is understandable to not want to tell about all of the downfalls of a property, but buyers have rights to certain knowledge.

Before delving into some common matters a seller must legally disclose, understand that California has thorough real estate disclosure laws. You will want to work with an experienced realtor and lawyer when selling a property to ensure you are covering all the necessary bases. 

FindLaw lays out some basic components of real estate disclosure regulations. Federal law governs some disclosure matters, such as laws related to lead paint used and present in properties. Houses that were built before 1978 could have lead within them, most often from paint. Buyers must know of any lead risks and have the right to test the home for the toxic substance.

Essentially, sellers are required to make buyers aware of any potential -- and known -- defects that could reduce the value of the property. These defects could be toxic substances, faulty plumbing, faulty electrical work, foundation damage, etc. If a seller is unaware of a defect that is later discovered, they generally are not responsible for not knowing. 

An upcoming post will further the discussion about real estate disclosures and related legal matters. Spring is the season for real estate; therefore, it is timely to go over laws that shape the real estate processes in the U.S. and California specifically.

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