What are disclosures?

Seller disclosures are an important part of the escrow process. Disclosures are meant to inform buyers regarding the sellers experience with the home as well as protect the sellers from legal action after the sale. It is the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s chance to reveal anything of material impact that can negatively affect the value and enjoyment of the property.

California has some of the most stringent disclosure requirements to protect home buyers. Sellers must disclose any improvements, remodels, upgrades, termite issues, neighbor disputes, home insurance claims etc. to the buyer. Disclosures are not the same as a home inspection by a third party as that might reveal defects the seller may not have been aware of.

Once the property is in escrow the buyer has a certain number of days to review the disclosures. If the buyer discovers something negative about the property they weren’t aware of, they can back out of the contract during this period. Some sellers will provide the disclosures to all buyers before accepting an offer.

Buyers need to review and sign off on all disclosures and reports via a form. 

Home Inspections:

Depending on your contract terms you have the amount of days stated on your inspection contingency (usually between 10-17) to ensure you are satisfied with the condition of the property you are purchasing. We recommend you do the following inspections at a minimum:

  • General Inspection: Covers structure, roof, doors, windows, appliances, visible plumbing & electrical, HVAC etc. Cost between $250-$1000 depending upon the size of the home.
  • Termite Inspection: Covers checking for termite damage to the property. Cost about $75-$150 depending upon the size of the home.
  • Sewer Line: Covers running scope inside a sewer line to be able to see the condition of the sewer pipes under the ground. We highly recommend getting this as it can be costly to repair/ replace sewer lines. Cost about $250-$300 depending on ease of access to the sewer line.
  • Geological (if property sits on a hillside): Cover the stability of the hillside the property resides on. Cost about $1000.

Additional Inspections recommended if the general inspection report calls for it (always start with the General inspection)

  • Plumbing 
  • Electrical
  • Structural/ Foundation
  • Chimney 
  • Roof
  • Mold

We include a list of home inspectors and service providers for your convenience. You are not required to pick one from our list. They are simply provided as a courtesy. We encourage you to check with your friends and family for recommendations of inspectors they have used and been happy with in the past. Do your due diligence before picking a inspector. inhaus does not guarantee the work of any inspector or service provider.

Have more questions about buying a home in California? Join our Facebook Group: Professional Real Estate Advice for California Home Buyers & Sellers or reach out via email at hello@inhaus.io

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