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Do CA laws requiring disclosure of known flaws in real estate transactions apply to auction sales?

Livermore, CA |

I have a property with several known issues, including a leaky roof, a cracked and leaking pool, electrical service to the house that violates code, outbuildings that were built w/o permits and are not built to code, a setback violation (building too close to property line), and several appliances and systems that don't work. Am I required to disclose this information in the case of an auction sale? Does the "as is" nature of an auction exempt me from CA disclosure laws and any liability for not disclosing known flaws or misrepresenting things as fine when they're not?

Thanks - neither situation is the case here. My (soon to be ex-) wife just wants to sell the property via a non-foreclosure, non-eBay real estate auction because she believes CA disclosure laws don't apply to auction sales, and the "as is" nature of auction sales exempts the seller from any liability for not disclosing known issues. Is that correct, or do the disclosure laws apply? One more question while I'm on a roll. She also maintains that she can force the property to be sold. I believe that she can demand I pay her 1/2 of FMV if I want the property, but not that it be sold. Which is it? Thanks again.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If by "auction sale" you mean a sale at foreclosure, no. These laws only apply to the sellers. An owner whose house is subject to foreclosure at auction is not the seller; the trustee under the deed of trust is.

    On the other hand, if by "auction sale" you are talking about eBay, then yes.


  2. Mr. Eschen’s interpretation is correct that this is a foreclosure sale. If you are selling the property even in an auction circumstances the highest bidder for yourself with you receiving the funds from the sale I do not believe this situation would relieve your from obligation to disclose.

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