If you are selling your single-family residence, you should be well aware of California’s laws regarding a seller’s obligation to disclose material facts. The days of caveat emptor and buyer beware are long gone. In California, a seller has an obligation to disclose all material facts about a property, where a fact is considered material if a reasonable person thinks it would affect the property’s value. The California Legislature has gone so far as to prepare a standard form – the Transfer Disclosure Statement (the “TDS”) – that sellers are required to complete and provide to the buyer before a property may be sold.
The TDS provides a basic framework of the topics that a seller should address when making sure all of the material facts are about a property are disclosed. But, a seller should always be aware that the TDS is not an exhaustive list of the material conditions that must be disclosed: ALL material facts must be disclosed, even if that topic does not appear on the TDS form. To help ensure a seller discloses all material facts, the California Association of Realtors has developed the Seller Property Questionnaire (“SPQ”) to act as a supplement for the TDS form. The SPQ includes topics not covered by the TDS and allows the seller to provide additional explanations of the material facts being disclosed by the seller.
If you are selling your property and have any questions about the types of disclosures you need to make, please feel free to contact Schorr Law, A Professional Corporation, to discuss whether you need to disclose a particular fact. You can also contact us if you believe that a seller might not have disclosed certain material facts concerning your recently purchased property. Schorr Law represents both sellers and buyers in their purchase and sale, and non-disclosure disputes.
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