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Disclosure in the sale of real estate in California.

Posted by attorney John Sorensen

The old adatage of "buyer beware" does not apply to residential real estate in California. Under common law--that being law that has been formed by case law and not codified in a statute--a seller has always had the duty to disclose to a buyer all material facts that might affect a buyer's descision to buy a home and at what price.

In 1987, the California legislature codified this legal principle in Civil Code Section 1102.6. In that code section, you will find a form that is now required in most residential sales. The form includes a check list of areas that must be affirmatively disclosed to a buyer. The form also requires that the real estate sales people involved in the sale of the home must also make an inspection and disclosure.

It is no longer "buyer beware"; it is really "sellers and agents beware". The seller must disclose all material facts actually known about the home and the agents must make a reasonably diligent inspection of the home and also declare all material facts known to them.

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