How to hide sales price from public record before I buy or sell property in escrow.
3 attorney answers
As was more thoroughly stated in a previous response, you can't. Without knowing your reason for not wanting the price disclosed, if your concern is about you, the buyer or seller, being in the public record, there might be another way to accomplish the desired result. What about purchasing or selling in a Land Trust or by an another entity which is not easily connected to you?
After AB 1888, there is no way to hide the sale price from the public record. The sale price is easily calculated from the documentary transfer tax, which must appear on the face of the transfer document. See Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 11932 and 11933. Before the sale close, the sales price is not part of any "public record," although it may appear on the MLS, or some property information service like Trulia or Zillow. Talk to your realtor about how to keep things private before the sale closes.
The above is not legal advice, because I don't know your unique circumstances and we don't have a signed legal services agreement. If you want legal advice you must discuss your unique legal circumstances with an attorney.
Sale amount is one thing, the property value subject to the transfer and thus real property tax assessment and transfer tax is a different issue. There must be a valid reason for such effort to keep sales price not disclosed ( which doesn't eliminate value assessment upon transfer unless exempt). You should consult with a real estate and business attorney to be advised on various vesting options through different entities that could hold title and their shares/stock could be transferred or "sold" as you refer to it. Ie. A corporation which owns the property can be sold or its stock transferred etc. but this by no stretch of imagination is simple , straight forward or DIY. It requires carefully planned and structure to comply with laws and safeguard the transferor and inline with tax law and ultimate estate planning structure of the owner. Why is the price disclosure important or is an issue ? Even if worth the effort it will not eliminate gain tax and reassessment. Good luck.
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