It is extremely important that the seller disclose all known information about their home to a prospective buyer. Failing to disclose known material facts about the property can lead to severe monetary penalties. There are a number of forms you will receive from the seller specifically addressing the seller’s knowledge of the condition of the property and any known outside influences that could affect the future value. Have there been any major repairs? Has the home experienced past slippage or foundation problems? If the property is in an area that has a Homeowner’s Association, will they be raising dues or conducting repairs in the near future? These are just examples of items that would need to be disclosed to prospective buyers.
Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement
This disclosure is required under California law for most residential real estate transactions. It is a three page document filled out by the seller that will answer specific questions about the condition of the property. It will be necessary for them to disclose any recent repairs, knowledge of easements or common areas shared with other homeowners among other issues. It also dictates to the seller that they have smoke detectors installed and water heaters braced up to current code. See an example here:
Seller Property Questionnaire
This four page document will ask the seller additional specific questions about the condition of the property. This includes more in-depth questions about work the seller has had done during their ownership. It will also tell you about the seller’s knowledge of any reports or inspections they have had done regarding the property. See an example here:
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
If the home was built prior to 1978, the seller must give you this disclosure, which tells you of the seller’s knowledge of any lead-based paint on the property.
Natural Hazard Disclosure
This is a report prepared by a Geologic inspection company that will disclose to you whether the property is in a Special Hazard Zone, such as a Flood Zone or Earthquake Fault Zone. If the home does fall into some of these categories, the lender might require you to purchase additional insurance coverage. See an example here:
Our experience with Ken was the best experience we could have ever hoped for! Ken is such a knowledgeable, experienced, patient, and trustworthy agent. We were first-time homebuyers who decided to buy in CA’s toughest market when it was molten hot due to the pandemic, sending people out of the city and into the burbs. We could not have been more clueless, but Ken coached us and gave us the space to learn what it really was we wanted; never rushing or pressuring us into decisions. Every time we were met with disappointment and every time wanted to give up, Ken reassured us it was going to work out. It did, and we are glad we listened to him. Thank you, Ken!John K.—Walnut Creek
I don't usually write reviews but the experience I had with Ken Jacobs was such an amazing one, I really felt the need to. As we looked for a new home, Ken paid close attention to what we did and did not like to really formulate the vision of our perfect home. Multiple times when we thought we wanted to put in an offer, Ken would review the disclosures and issues with each home, even warning us when he thought it wasn't the right house for us. We never once felt rushed and now that we are in our new home, I can't even begin to explain how happy we are that we waited for the right one. Before we submitted an offer, Ken thoroughly explained everything, from the types of contingencies to the fine print in each document. Once our offer was accepted, I thought Ken's role in the process was nearly complete but I was wrong and in the best way possible. Ken continued to help us from coordinating post-offer inspections to facilitating different contractors coming to the house for minor repairs, and everything in between. Even after we moved in, Ken came to the house to answer miscellaneous questions. I dreaded that deciding on the biggest purchase of my life would be stressful and complicated, yet Ken made buying a house such a better experience than I could have imagined. Now I have a trusted agent for any home I buy or sell in the future. Thank you for such an amazing experience!Daniel & Livia P. - Pleasant Hill