4 min read Apr 17, 2024

Seller’s Disclosure California (2024 Updates)

60% of sellers do not reveal defects in their homes to the buyers. Moreover, 95% of homebuyers discover issues with their new properties only after the closing process is complete. To avoid such problems, California has made filling out seller disclosure forms mandatory. 

A seller disclosure is a document that informs the buyer about any material defects in your home. As a seller, you must fill this document accurately and honestly. If you hide defects knowingly or unknowingly, you might end up in lawsuits, lose money, and damage your reputation.

So, before selling your home, seek help from real estate professionals like Houzeo. You will get all federal and state disclosures, which makes the selling process seamless and hassle-free.

Is Seller’s Disclosure Required in California?

Yes, you must fill out the Seller’s Disclosure Notice provided by the California Association of Realtors (CAR). This standardized form discloses all material defects and the overall condition of your property to potential buyers.

What Does a Seller Have to Disclose in California?

Here are the things you have to disclose to sell your home fast:

  1. Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement: You need to disclose any known material defects or issues with the property. This form covers a wide range of aspects, including the condition of appliances, the plumbing system, the roof, and other structural components.
  2. Natural Hazard Disclosure: You should reveal if the property is located in an area prone to natural hazards. This information helps buyers assess potential risks associated with the property.
  3. Lead-Based Paint Disclosure: You need to provide information about the presence of lead-based paint and related hazards. The buyer has the right to inspect for lead-based paint.
  4. Megan’s Law Disclosures: You must inform buyers if the property is located near a registered sex offender. This disclosure provides buyers with neighborhood information.
  5. Homeowners Association Disclosures: If the property is part of a homeowners association, you must provide relevant documents, including financial statements. You’re also required to inform about any pending legal actions involving the HOA.
  6. Smoke Detector and Water Heater Compliance: You must certify that smoke detectors and water heaters comply with state law requirements.

What Do Sellers Not Have to Disclose?

You can omit the following information from the seller disclosure form in California:

  • If someone died on the property more than three years before a potential buyer’s offer.
  • If you consider your property haunted or it is haunted.
  • Anyone who lives on the property has AIDS or HIV.

What Are Exemptions to Seller Disclosures in California?

There are some sales or transfers where the sellers need not submit the California Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) to their buyers or transferees. These are as follows:

Sr. NoExemption
1.Transfers that are made before furnishing public reports under Section 11018.1 of the Business and Professions Code, or made without Section 11010.4 of the Business and Professions Code.
2.Sales that are made due to a court order, for instance, sales arising from the administration of an estate or foreclosure.
3.Transfer from the mortgagor to a mortgagee, or transfers under a foreclosure sale made after default in mortgage, deed, or trust. It can also be made by a mortgagee or beneficiary who has acquired the property in lieu of foreclosure.
4.Where the transferor is an executor of a will or a fiduciary administering trust, guardianship, or conservatorship.
5.Transfers from one co-owner to one or more co-owners.
6.Any transfer made to a spouse or person/s in the lineal line of consanguinity.
7.Where the transfer results from a decree of divorce, legal separation, or settlement agreement between spouses.
8.Transfers administered by a Controller of Unclaimed Property.
9.Any transfers carried out by a collector of a tax-defaulted vacant residential property, or where the property is deeded for taxes to the state, county, or public agency under the California Revenue & Taxation Code.
10.Where a government entity is a buyer.
11.Transfer a portion of the property that is not a single-family residence.
12.A sale for a limited duration.

Consequences of Lying on California Seller’s Disclosure

California Seller’s Disclosure Notice is a legally binding document, and you’re required to fill it out honestly. If you intentionally provide wrong information, it would mean that you deceived the buyer on purpose. 

If you fail to disclose known defects, you will be subject to civil penalties, including fines. Moreover, you may incur liability for negligent misrepresentation or face fraud claims.

Penalty for Forgetting to Mention Facts in Seller Disclose Form

In the U.S., omitting facts in a seller disclosure form can lead to fraud liability and penalties. Buyers may take action through rescission or pursue damages. Criminal charges are rare but possible in extreme cases.

You should adopt a proactive strategy to avoid legal issues in California real estate transactions. This involves disclosing all material property facts accurately. Moreover, seek guidance from a real estate attorney to avoid any errors.

Bottom Line

Transparency is key when filling out seller disclosure documents. It requires you to reveal known material defects in a property. However, providing false information on disclosure may lead to legal repercussions.

You can access all the seller disclosure forms on Houzeo. The documents are available in electronic format and for FREE. Also, the platform has segregated all the disclosures state-wise, so you don’t have to hunt for California seller disclosures separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does California require a seller's disclosure?

Sellers need to fill out the Seller's Disclosure Notice when selling their house in California. You need to disclose facts and defects about the property. You need to check off all the questions and also fill a few sections of the form manually to provide additional details.

What is a closing disclosure in real estate?

Closing disclosure is a form that gives details about the mortgage loan you select.

What types of issues should be disclosed by the seller?

Sellers in California are required to disclose material facts that could affect the value or desirability of the property. This includes information about the property's physical condition, any known defects, legal issues, and environmental hazards.

Related: sellers disclosure california, CA residential property disclosure exemptions, seller disclosure California, under the California property disclosure act, who is exempt from disclosure, is a sellers disclosure required in CA, sellers disclosure California, sellers disclosure California

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