Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Seller’s Disclosure

Posted in Due Diligence,Forms,House Hunting,Inspections by Jeff Dowler on April 26, 2007

inspector.jpgThe laws regarding disclosure by sellers of defects and overall condition of their homes varies quite a bit. You may or may not see such a disclosure, as is some states it is not required. Check with your agent on this.

A seller’s disclosure, while it does NOT replace having your own home inspection, is a good thing to have. Here is California we have a form call the TDS (Transfer Disclosure Statement) that is required for residential property of 1 – 4 units (there are some exceptions, such as a foreclosure sale). Other states have different forms which sometimes are optional and may be used more commonly in some areas than others.

The seller is required to disclose the overall condition of the property and any known defects (heating, plumbing, AC, electrical, structural, roof, etc.) and is expected to be honest in this disclosure. If the seller does not know of a defect or is unsure, it is fine for that to be disclosed. Some states may require this disclosure be made available for all to review, and in others is need only be provided to a buyer upon an accepted offer (other practices may prevail).

In CA it should be given to a buyer before an offer is extended, but may be given to the buyer after the offer has been made and accepted. If done in the latter case, the buyer has the right to terminate the offer IN WRITING, within 3 days of receiving the TDS.

Armed with the TDS (or other disclosure) the buyer is in a good position to more fully consider the condition of the home along with the home inspection report, and decide if moving ahead with the transaction is a good idea or not.


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