What are Seller's Disclosures
Is this your first time selling a home or you have sold a home in the past yet can't remember all the paperwork associated with the process? You will be required as a seller to provide several disclosures to buyers. Basically seller disclosures are documents you complete with all the information you know about the home and explanations to any remodel projects during your time at the home owner.
Here is a list of the seller disclosures used in Contra Costa County:
- Transfer Disclosure Statement - this is a three page document which requires information regarding the items in the home, the conditon if they are in working order, if not why and other questions regarding pets on the property, has anyone died in the property, and any neighborhood issues the buyer should be made aware of. This document is mandated by law to be provided to a buyer.
- Seller Property Questionnaire - this is a four page docement similar to the Transfer Disclosure form, yet ask for more detailed explanations about the home. Anywhere where there is a "Yes" check mark an explanation will be required.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure - this form is required on homes built before 1978 as to whether there is to your knowledge any lead based paint in the home.
- Natural Hazard Disclosures - this disclosure is prepared by a third party which is generally ordered by your real estate agent or a title company. This disclosure informs the buyer of any natural hazards surrounding the home such as fire zone, fault lines, flood and other environmental items.
- Carbon Dioxide Detector and Smoke Detector Disclosures - by law every home is required to have these detectors in operating condition and placed is the designated rooms per the current building codes.
- Water Heater Disclosure - California law requies water heaters be braced properly to resist falling due to earthquake. When your home is inspected, if not properly braced you will have to make sure this is done prior to close of escrow.
- Seller's Affidavit of NonForeign Status - IRS tax purposes to with hold taxes if the Seller is a foreign person. In order to avoid withholding sellers must provide the affidavit.
In addition to the Seller Disclosures there are a couple of advisories that are part of every sale which require both seller and buyer to acknowledge and sign. These are "boiler plate" forms prepared by the State and Counties.
- Statewide buyer and seller advisory
- County advisory
- Market condition advisory
I suggest that you complete all the disclosures before you put your home on the market and have your real estate agent make them available to any potetial buyers. Request that with any offer, you have the buyer acknowledge they have in deed read all the disclosures. This ensures for a smooth transaction and that is what we all want.