Home Selling in Pleasanton>Question Details

Ella, Both Buyer and Seller in Cupertino, CA

May we refuse to sign a disclosure statement that the buyers' agent neglected to have us sign prior to close of escrow? Escrow has closed on our

Asked by Ella, Cupertino, CA Thu Jul 1, 2010

home. This is for the Water Heater and Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance

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Hi Ella,

In my view, the WHSD is more of a required Seller's disclosure or notification because it simply informs of the Seller's duty regarding the transfer of the property and Health and Safety Code compliance requirements regarding the Water Heater and Smoke Detectors. Even if the form did not exist, the code compliance requirements still would.

In my past discussions with the CAR lawyers regarding such things as REO's or Sellers not signing certain disclosure documents, I have always been advised that being able to show an individual was sent a document was sufficient to establish delivery (after all, one cannot force someone to sign a document).

However, from a practical standpoint, I do not see why you would not sign it now. Also, the signing of this document may be covered under the form that you likely signed at Escrow stating you would cooperate with any missed information or signatures.

Congratulations on your purchase.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
My gut says, why not sign it? If the property disclosure is signed, it is binding. It seems pretty simple, just sign it. Do you have knowledge of the water heater or smoke detector not working?
Web Reference: http://www.ronanddebbie.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Any reason why you don't want to?

These are required disclosures. It's not hard to imagine how this disclosure was overlooked since there are so many. This disclosure is intended to let people acknowledge that they know about these requirements and that these should be completed as a condition of closing escrow.

Certainly won't cause you a lot of time to oblige the request and keep the transaction ending on a high note.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010

You can refuse to sign it but why would you not? As others stated it is a notification that you are now aware of regarding somke detecters and proper water heater bracing at . You can always date it after close.
Web Reference: http://bob2sell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 6, 2010
If you were given the information and disclosed before closing you should sign it. If you refuse to sign it, your realtors commission is usually in jeopardy being that their file has to be compliant before getting paid.

Now the key question is if you knew the information about the water heater and smoke detectors before hand and this was just a simple matter of documentation. If there was an issue you were not aware of that would be different.

But if what has been disclosed is accurate and doesn't harm you. You should sign the disclosure to acknowledge the information was provided to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
This specific disclosure is required by the state and advises that the seller has the responsibility to ensure that:

(1) The hot water is properly strapped with seismic restraints,
(2) There is a working smoke detector in your home outside the bedrooms as per building code.

If your hot water heater is strapped AND you have a working smoke detector where it should be, then the obligations of the disclosure have been fulfilled. If that is indeed the case, then there is no good reason why you should not sign the disclosure.

In some cases, agents don’t get paid until their office has all the required documents signed off. IF your hot water heater and/or smoke detector are not as they should be as per the disclosure, then have your buyer’s agent rectify the situation (a hot water heater strap kit costs about $25.00 and a smoke detector can be purchased for less than $10.00)…

Then sign the form. No reason not to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
And you don't want to sign, because . . . ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Hi Ella,

The disclosures are provided by the seller so it should be your agent that neglected to get your signature, not the buyer's agent. However, I would not call that any agent's neglect since you were supposed to sign there when you were given all the disclosures to sign and maybe missed signing that page. Since there are 2 signatures needed on that one page when both Smoke detector and water heater are on the same page, sellers often miss 1 signature. The buyer's agent or the selling office broker may have noticed a missing signature.

My advice would be to sign it so there are no problems later with compliance issues etc.

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
If you already closed then it is your option, however check to see if the requirement was for protection of teh buyer and sellers can be held accountable for not having teh disclosure. If it is a state required addendum, you may be held in contemopt for not having them. Check the law to make sure you are not hurting yourself by not signing them. you can always use your first free meeting with an attorney to get some details and direction.

good luck with working things out
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
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