Real Estate FAQs
Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP assists clients with a range of real estate law matters, including purchases and sales, litigation, and construction disputes. The firm provides the following answers to frequently asked questions as a resource for clients and others seeking general information about real estate law in California.
What are the disclosure obligations of a home seller?
California case law requires a seller of real property to disclose relevant facts concerning the property for sale through a Transfer Document Statement form. This basically means a seller of one to four residential units has a legal obligation to disclose all of the conditions of the property known to them to prospective buyers, which is often accomplished through use of a “Transfer Disclosure Statement.” While the listing inspection report cannot be used as a substitute for that disclosure, it does allow the seller to provide prospective buyers with additional information, based on an unbiased, third party, professional inspection.
What are the benefits to obtaining an inspection before purchasing real property?
The purchase of a home or commercial building is one of the largest single investments many people will ever make. It is important to know exactly what to expect in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. Many serious structural problems are easily concealed with a fresh coat of paint. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. An inspection can reveal the true condition of the property to avoid unpleasant surprises from arising after a purchase, and will allow the buyer to make their decision with confidence.
Sellers can also benefit from an inspection, particularly if they have owned their building for a period of time. An inspection can identify potential problems in the sale of the building and the inspector can recommend preventive measures which might avoid future expensive repairs.
What do I need to do to buy or sell a house?
In the purchase or sale of a home in California, numerous transactional issues come into play. Both buying and selling a house often involve working with a real estate agent, conducting inspections, preparing a purchase and sale agreement, legal title issues, closing costs, mortgages, mortgage insurance, and a host of other questions and procedures. An experienced real estate lawyer can provide trusted advice and guidance throughout the process, helping to relieve stress and ensure an organized and proper transaction.