Providing disclosures regarding the property you are selling and the surrounding areas are a major part of your legal obligation as a seller, as they bring to the buyer’s attention anything considered to potentially be a “material fact”.
Much of this information may not be obvious to a buyer from simply viewing the property in person, or even from any home inspections.
Once the buyer knows about any problems that you have truthfully disclosed, you will eliminate reasons for non-disclosure lawsuits in connection to any of these issues down the road.
Below is a brief summary providing a general outline of most of the disclosures that will be provided to the buyer. Some of these may not apply to your specific transaction.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
0:38 Transfer Disclosure Statement
4:37 Seller Property Questionnaire
8:32 Earthquake Hazards Report
9:48 Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement
11:33 Lead Based Paint
12:27 Agent Visual Inspection Disclosures
13:28 Local Area Disclosures
14:13 Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory
– Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS): This is one of the most important disclosure documents that you as a seller must complete. We cannot fill it out for you – it must be completed by the homeowner. The TDS includes the seller’s mandatory disclosure of specified items and any known adverse material conditions of the property, as well as sections for the seller’s and buyer’s agents to comply with diligent visual inspection requirements (AVID — see below).
It is critical that you provide the correct answers to each applicable question and that you do not leave anything blank (unless you have indicated it is N/A). Be sure to truthfully and completely answer each question and disclose any additional material facts that you are aware of—even if you think it may dissuade the buyer.
If you need to ask whether or not you should disclose something that you would rather not, the likely answer is “YES”. One reason this is so crucial is that if the buyer knows about a problem due to your disclosure, they have no grounds upon which to sue you later.
Important: BE SURE TO PROVIDE COMPLETE EXPLANATIONS FOR ANY “YES” RESPONSES!
– Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ): This too is a very important disclosure document that the seller must complete (unless exempt). The purpose of the SPQ is to give the buyer more information about known material facts or significant items affecting the value or desirability of the property and to help to eliminate misunderstandings about the condition of the property. Again, be sure to answer any and all questions accurately, and to not leave any applicable portion blank.
Reminder: BE SURE TO PROVIDE COMPLETE EXPLANATIONS FOR ANY “YES” RESPONSES!
– Natural Hazard Disclosures: Since you are not an expert on the Natural Hazards of the area, and cannot personally be expected to provide the buyer with a complete picture of the hazards, these NHDs are provided by a professional 3rd-party with access to accurate local information. These NHDs outline whether the property is in an area known to be prone to natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes. They are designed to protect buyers from unknowingly purchasing a property that might incur damages from natural disasters simply because of the property’s location in a naturally hazardous area.
– Mold Advisory: The buyer is herein advised to hire a licensed inspector to conduct a mold and water intrusion inspection.
– Preliminary Title Report: The Preliminary Title Report lists all encumbrances (claims) discoverable by the Title Company against the property, such as liens (including second mortgages and tax liens), easements across the property, pending lawsuits against the property owner and others.
– Homeowners Association (HOA) Package (if selling a home within an HOA community): Your HOA (or 3rd party “Condocerts”) will provide the package, for a fee, which you will be required to pay.
– Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure (AVID): This disclosure documents the results of both your agent and the buyer’s agent’s required visual inspection of a property. This report may mention even the tiniest of visual “defects” of the property. Don’t be shocked to see some things listed that may sound worse than they really are! For example, a “hole in the wall” could in reality be as simple as a thumb-tack hole.
Don’t get caught up on what is listed on this document — if you have a question or concern, we are happy to point the defect(s) out to you in person.
– Local Area Disclosures for San Diego (or Riverside) County Booklet: This guide is to provide regional information which may impact the Buyer’s decision to purchase a property in San Diego (or Riverside, if applicable) County. This booklet is divided into multiple sections which include: General Disclosures, Environmental Disclosures, information regarding Traffic, Roads and Transportation, Air Traffic and Airport Disclosures and Specific Area Disclosures.
– Environmental Hazards/Earthquake Report: This document provides the homeowner with basic information about finding and fixing earthquake-related weaknesses in the home. It also provides general information about earthquake risks and links to resources for more information on earthquake safety.
– Statewide Buyers and Sellers Advisory: This broad document advises both buyer and seller of various factors that may affect the decision to buy– from different types of inspections that can be obtained, questions to ask or research and information to be disclosed. Buyer is advised in each particular section to contact appropriate professionals with concerns.
Questions or Concerns? Is anything unclear? Give us a call!