Property Disclosure Lawsuits in Southern California
The vast majority of lawsuits and legal claims against real estate brokers and agents involve allegations of misrepresentation, negligence, or fraud. according to the National Association of Realtors®, some 70 percent of all claims against real estate professionals are a result of misrepresentations that could have been prevented by proper disclosure.
Thorough Disclosure is a MUST for Brokers and their Agents
Listing brokers can be found liable if their sales agents fail to properly disclose pertinent property information.
Listing brokers should be certain that all of their standard listing packages include a property disclosure form, where such a form is required by law or not. Brokers should refuse to accept a listing agreement unless it is accompanied by a signed disclosure form. Moreover, brokers had better have procedures in place to make SURE – make certain – that the property disclosure is delivered to the buyers. What good is a disclosure form in the file that was never presented to the buyer when you are in court for “non-disclosure?”
Points for Disclosure
Many states, including California, have specific disclosure forms for real estate sales. If you are in a state that does not, here are some minimum disclosure items you should consider including in your package:
- Defects in the roof system.
- Defects in the electrical system.
- Defects in plumbing, septic tanks, water heaters (California – strapping for earthquake).
- Defects in heating or air conditioning (including the sizing being adequate for the space).
- Defects in the swimming pool.
- Defects such as cracks, bulges, or water seepage in the foundation or basement.
- Disputes over boundary lines, liens, easements, or other encroachments.
- Presence of asbestos, lead paint, radon, toxic wastes, underground tanks, or other environmental hazards.
- Infestations by termites or other pests.
- Location in a floodplain, wetland, shoreline, earthquake liquefaction zone.
- Defects in any mechanical equipment or appliances being sold with the property.
- Awareness of pending changes in zoning, property tax assessments, or special assessments.
The information on this Real Estate BLOG is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, nor constitute an attorney-client relationship.
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