When you’re selling your home, (a residential property of one to four (1-4) units), in California, it feels like the requirements to sell your home start to add up. There are a lot of legal steps to keep in mind, so it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure you’re complying with all state regulations when selling your home. Here are some of the key legal requirements for selling a home in California:
Using an Escrow Agent
To protect yourself in the transaction, you’ll need to use an escrow agent. An escrow agent is responsible for making sure the entire sale process goes off without a hitch, including collecting all payments and ensuring that all paperwork is properly recorded in the County where your property is located and with the state.
California real estate law (Civil Code §1102, et seq.), requires sellers to disclose any potential defects or issues with the property that could affect its value. This includes things like lead paint, flood damage, or other safety issues. You’ll also need to provide potential buyers with the Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ), a form detailing all of the material facts about the property.
Your last disclosure will be about whether anyone died on the property within the last three years. You’ll need to answer honestly, as your buyer may use that information in their decision-making process.
Sharing the Area’s Risk of Natural Disasters
The potential for an earthquake, fire, or flood may deter a homebuyer from purchasing your house. You must disclose these risks to buyers, so they can make an informed decision about their purchase. There are services that for a small fee provide your buyer with all of the necessary disclosures required by law for things like proximity to airports, location in a flood and/or fire zone, etc.
Pay Transfer Taxes
In California, home sellers pay a fee called a “transfer tax.” This is based on the sale price of the property and is typically divided between the buyer and seller. It’s important to factor this cost into your selling budget.
Transfer Disclosure Statement
Transfer disclosure statements are required by California real estate law. It’s a comprehensive document that outlines the condition of the property, any necessary repairs, and other important information. You’ll need to provide this to your buyer before closing on the sale.
Depending on the city or county you’re selling in, you may need to get municipal inspections and obtain a certificate of occupancy. This is important for the buyer to ensure that all necessary permits and inspections were completed before the sale.
Simplify the Home Selling Process With Mellor Law Firm
When selling your home, you want to make sure everything is done right the first time so your timeline isn’t pushed back. You might need the funds from the sale of the house to purchase a new one or maybe your moving deadline is very tight.
If you want to make sure everything happens according to plan, our experienced team at Mellor Law Firm can help. Our lawyers can guide you through the entire home selling process and make sure everything is compliant with California real estate laws so you can close quickly and without any difficulties.
Contact us today for all of your real estate questions.