California Real Estate Law Requirements Every Home Seller Should Know

real estate lawThere are multiple legal requirements every homeowner should be aware of when selling a home in the state of California. Being aware of these real estate law requirements will help you avoid potential liability after the sale of the home, but it will also make the process itself much easier to understand.

Your real estate lawyer will most likely assist you during the sale of the home. However, it’s beneficial to be in the know about these property laws to ensure the procedures, disclosures, and transactions proceed as smoothly as possible.

You must disclose all adverse information about the property
According to California real estate law, property sellers must disclose any information about the property to the potential buyers that may make the property less appealing or may reduce property value in any way. For instance, should a death occur on the property within three years of the sale, you must disclose this information to the potential buyers under California real estate law.

A property seller may face severe legal consequences should they fail to disclose any adverse information about the property. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s necessary to disclose specific information, consult your real estate attorney or simply include the information to be safe. Additionally, this information must be handwritten.

Escrow agents are necessary for California home sellers
In the state of California, home buyers and sellers are required to use an escrow agent and company during the sale of the house. The home seller will place the deed of the house in escrow and the home buyer will deposit the funds for the home in escrow.

During this time, the escrow company will hold onto both the deed and funds until the legal conditions of the sale are complete. However, it’s important to know the differences of escrow according to the home seller’s location.

For instance, an independent escrow company is typically used in Southern California, whereas in Northern California the escrow agent during the transaction is typically the same as the title company. Ultimately, who pays for and who performs the escrow services may be decided by the home seller and buyer.

A transfer tax may need to be paid by the home seller
A document proving the change of ownership of a property must be recorded at the California county recorder’s office when a property is transferred from a home seller to a home buyer. And, naturally, a transfer tax is imposed at this time by the county. In some cases, the tax may also be imposed by the city of the home seller.

The real estate industry standard typically requires the home seller to pay the transfer tax when the property is being sold in Southern California. The transfer tax is often paid by the homebuyer should the property be sold in Northern California. However, as in the case of the escrow services, who pays the transfer tax can be negotiated between the buyer and the seller before closing on the home.

It’s always beneficial to understand the real estate laws in your state, especially since these rules can vary widely across state borders. For more information on California real estate contracts and real estate law terms, contact DiJulio Law Group today.

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