Home Buying in 94110>Question Details

reneemustang, Renter in Allied Gardens, San...

Does a seller have to disclose a previously interested buyers inspection report findings?

Asked by reneemustang, Allied Gardens, San Diego, CA Sun Mar 31, 2013

Potential buyers found fault with the roof in our house so they withdrew their offer. We had roof fixed, do we have to disclose to new buyers the roof issues the previous potential buyers had?

Help the community by answering this question:


A seller has a legal obligation to disclose all material facts that she knows about her property. This obligation extends to an obligation to disclose a prior buyer's inspection report in her possession. When in doubt--disclose in all situations.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
A clear and concise answer.
Flag Tue Dec 15, 2015
Yes! Do not listen to anyone who says no. Give a copy of the repairs on your roof to the new buyers. Do you have a warranty on the repairs? Show that as well.

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
The short answer is, "yes." It's a material fact.

The long answer is:
Our state (California) law is no longer "buyer beware"; now it is "seller beware." In 1975, the state Legislature recognized the special duty of disclosure on the sale of houses and other property and enacted a statute that requires the seller of property to deliver a document, called a transfer disclosure statement(TDS), that contains information regarding the condition of the property.

The disclosure statement must contain specific information regarding things such as appliances and improvements on the property, their condition, and any defects or malfunctions of the improvements. It includes features shared in common with other owners (such as a driveway, a wall or a fence, encroachments or anything built or located over the property lines) and easements, additions, alterations, or modifications made without permits or not in conformance with building codes.

Also, the disclosure must contain information about any fill soil on the property, flooding problems, major damage to the property, zoning violations, noise problems or nuisances, deed restrictions, whether the property is covered by a homeowners association and any lawsuits affecting the property.

In addition to the statutory duties contained on the disclosure statement, any fact known to the seller that affects the desirability of the property also must be disclosed.

Lastly, if you were the buyer of said property would you want the seller to disclose the past roof issue?

It's pretty simple.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi reneemustang,

The plain and simple maxim for these types of situations:

"When in doubt, disclose." ... This is "cheap insurance".

Non-disclosure of material fact is the #1 reason Sellers are sued by Buyers.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Yes. You are legally obligated to disclose all facts you are aware of about the home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Yes! Most buyers would be happy to know there's been repairs done recently anyway.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
The seller has a legal obligation to disclose the condition of the property that he has direct knowledge of. The previous buyers' home inspection report has revealed the problem with the roof and you have obtained that information. Hence, you are obligated to disclose it.

You can add to your dislcosure that the problem has been resolved, fixed or replaced but make sure that you have the document to support it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Yes, yes and yes!! You can't never disclose enough.

Let's put it that way: once the former buyers discovered the problems, you became aware of it and it is a known fact to you. You can't say that you didn't know about the roof anymore, that is why you fixed it. You should present the report together with the proof of repair.

On a different note, presenting the previous buyers reports will save time, energy and negotiation efforts because the next potential buyers will know what to expect and they will take any repairs into consideration while making an offer.

Good luck!


Alina Aeby-Broker Associate
Pacific Union International
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013

1. Did you hire the inspector that made the determination of the alleged roof defects?
2. Is the inspector licensed to issue legitimate assessments of roofs (many states have no requirement whatsoever for "home inspectors").

Just because some third party makes a determination about an alleged defect on your property does not mean it's true, and not laced with opinions intended to benefit the inspector's client (not you). You have no obligation to disclose an alleged defect--just a real one--one that you've experienced personally, or that you have personal awareness.

As a caveat you would want to insert into your Disclosures something to the effect: "Seller is not personally aware of any defect involving the roof, but recommends a professional inspection of same".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2015
Disclose what happened and how you took care of the roof problem.
Show the invoices as a proof of work done - and it should be done by a licensed roofer.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 30, 2013
First this is why you have a pre-inspection done by an architect or engineer! Ok that train has left the building so now how do you move forward? You disclose that the roof had an issue & the date the roof was repaired. If there are other “issues” in the report which are “opinions” of the inspector you do not have to disclose that report, but my advice to you is have a pre-inspection done by an architect or engineer, show them the other inspectors report before they begin their inspection then fully disclose the report your inspector has prepared with any corrective actions. If a new buyer wants to have an inspection no problem, they get to see the report from your inspector. Many inspectors are not well trained and lack credentials such as architects or engineers. In addition Realtors® use inspectors as hired guns for the sake of re-negotiation. A pre-inspection from a credentialed respected professional home inspector stops a lot of BS. Good Luck! Ps don’t try to hide anything, disclose all known defects. The “trick” is when you hire your guy you get statements on the report such as “furnace is 20 years old but in good working order” when the but when the other party hires the inspector you get statements such as “furnace is 20 years old and replacement should be considered as this item is at the end of its service life”. Then the Realtor®/ buyer DEMAND a new furnace!!!! you get the idea good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 4, 2013
If you don't want to end up in a very nasty non disclosure issue that could end up costing you everything you earned on your transaction and possibly more DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE everything all the time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 3, 2013

Always answer the should I disclose question with the above. Always.

Even if you had a leak ten years ago and had it fixed disclose both facts. Always disclose everything you know that might be able to be construed as a material fact affecting the value being placed on the property by a buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 2, 2013
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
No and unless the buyer sold the seller their inspections the seller does not have a copy of the report.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
just because the seller doesn't have a copy of the report is no excuse not to disclose a material defect that they were made aware of - ESPECIALLY one which they clearly acknowledged and had repaired!
Flag Mon Apr 1, 2013
Sellers have to disclose material defects. If the defect has been remedied, then I would document that in the seller's disclosures. You say you had the roof 'fixed'. I am not sure whether that means patched or replaced but as long as the repair is documented you should be fine.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
In short: Yes, a seller and their agent have duties to provide information to prospective buyers about a residential property for sale. But if the seller's agent never received a copy of someone else's report, I think the seller's agent should at least inform the current interested buyer that other folks asked for and obtained an inspection where a report was issued. What's more the agent would be well-served to provide contact information as to how to obtain that report so Buyer B is given the chance to investigate or request a copy.

The reason why is that the California Legislature has said the duty to disclose residential property conditions and information is broad as disclosure materials and statements are valuable to California residential real estate buyers. The notion underlying this is that unlike 'sophisticated' commercial property transactions — whereby the parties are assumed to have experience and knowledge of what they're getting into and/or the bargaining power to impact the bargain struck substantially — residential buyers don't. THe two relevant places to look at within the California Civil Code at sections 1102.1 and 2079.

In relevant part, agents are "to disclose to [a] prospective purchaser all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property that an investigation would reveal...." And "any fact materially affecting the value and desirability of the property," is taken to include the physical conditions of the property and
previously received reports of physical inspections." There you have it folks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
sorry... you are incorrect. there is nothing in the referenced sections of the Ca. Code that states "is taken to include the physical conditions of the property and
previously received reports of physical inspections."
Flag Sat Jan 24, 2015

You had the "roof fixed", so you have nothing to worry about - save the receipt, and any warranty the roofer offered on the repair.

Do you have any concerns the roof needed more than just that quick "fix"?

If so, you might want to get something in writing from your roofer that says the roof is free from leaks and not in need of replacement.

Seems unusual the buyers would walk away from something as simple as a roof repair, especially since you were willing to deal with it....unless their inspector suggested it needed to be replaced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
I would advise that. In your disclosure statement, there should be a question about leaks, whether active or repaired-that's a good spot to do it.

In SF, we have a supplement to that disclosure that asks for any previous reports. That would be place I would disclose that. You aren't in SF, so that doesn't help you, but it is a good tickler for our clients to do that.

In short, more is better. You will never lose sleep telling someone everything, but you will if you ever wonder if you get caught not saying something and then the new buyer makes a big deal out of it.

All the best
Web Reference: http://www.sfhotbuy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 31, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer