1. Disclose all that you see, smell, hear, sense, or know.
2. Disclose all past repairs that have been completed that you are aware of. Disclose all known or suspected unrepaired items, even if seemingly minor or insignificant.
3. Do not estimate costs of future repairs, leave that to professionals or to the buyers.
4. Do not try to determine the cause of the defect, unless you are 100% sure of what caused it. ( such as: I know that a baseball chipped the paint on this outside wall, but I don't know what caused this other chip.)
5. Disclose early. Disclose significant issues in the MLS agent remarks. Have an RETDS filled out and available for review by potential buyers before they offer.
6. It is better to lose a troublesome, fussy buyer early than to go partway through an escrow only to have them cancel halfway through. Or worse to let, them close escrow then come back to sue later.
Most real estate buyers appreciate the honesty. I also applied the full disclosure tactic when I sold my old family cars and old SUV ( situations where there was no legal requiement for me to do so ) - and got top dollar for them.
I think most of the Realtor will give their buyers prudent advise on what are customary, minor, regular wear and tear problems for a resale home and what is more of a red flag.
In addition, the Realtor will advise the buyers to do their independent inspector, whether home (contractor) or termite inspection. The seasoned inspector will also point out whether things are acceptable or not.
The good thing about disclosing all things you know is that by doing so, you have nothing to hide and the buyers feel comfortable that they know what they are buying; and even if they don't like it, they are willing to accept it with the purchase. .
When things show up and you did not disclose the fact even know you are very aware of the problem, that's whey there will be problems for sellers.
The old saying is 'If you have to ask whether you should disclose something (of the nature to materially affect the value of a property), then you need to disclose that.
I did advise one of my clients not to disclose one thing - My client just did not like the neighbor due to previous problems with their childcare arrangement - I told my client this is personal relationship and had nothing to do with the house and that's one item which does not need to be disclose.
Now, I can't speak to California law or regulations, but I would throw two cautions in.
The first is, as a buyer, to be careful if there's a huge list of seemingly minor disclosures. Read the list carefully; it might just be a strategy to slip a more significant problem in among a whole slew of very minor ones. As a seller, a buyer might be concerned about that issue. Overall, though, it's better to err on the side of over-disclosure than under-disclosure.
Second, and again I'm not a lawyer and I don't know California regulations, but I'd confine diclosure to the property I'm selling. I'm not selling the house down the street. And I'd limit disclosures to items that physically affect the property. For instance: a neighbor likes to work on his car, so sometimes he'll rev the engine for 15-30 minutes. Should that be disclosed? Or a neighbor likes to have the best yard in the neighborhood, so he's out there twice a week mowing his lawn, and blowing leaves every day. That's a major annoyance to some, but not a problem to others. The house is 2 blocks from a major highway. That's a major selling point to some, but the noise could be a turn-off for others. I know there have been court cases about people buying houses near existing airports, then complaining about the noise.
In short, disclose what you know about what you're selling. And disclose, if you wish, known facts about things that you know will affect a buyer's peace and enjoyment in the property. But don't try to read a buyer's mind and "disclose" things that not only are irrelevant to your property, but may well be irrelevant to the buyer.
Hope that helps.
We want to be good neighbors. I would first go see the neighbor and explain the problem. They may rebuff you but either way, you have done the neighborly thing. Then, if they continue, start calling animal control. They will first get a warning, but then a ticket. Fines get steeper with each ticket.
They will have to go to court but unfortunately, so will you. Take a week off & start calling animal control a couple times a day. Your home is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and you need to protect your investment.
We had a neighbor with an illegal kennel. We didn't want to be bad neighbors so we let it go, even tho it made our life a misery. When it came time to sell, we had no choice but to a address this. It took a couple of months but it was fixed.
OK, off my soapbox. :)
I am so glad you asked this question. My advice is disclose it all. You are so much better off telling the facts & letting your potential buyer do their due diligence & investigate further than not saying anything. Another way to put it, is if you have to ask should I disclose something than the answer will most likely be yes. Put yourself in your buyers shoes. You sound like a very responsible seller & that is the best way to go always. I understand your fears of scaring a potential buyer, but better to tell them then to have them be upset later & possibly sue you for something you did truly know about. Honesty is always appreciated. Take care.
Anything you would want to know, disclose. Honesty is the best policy, always! I haven't come across a situation yet when honesty wasn't appreciated.
Except maybe for surprise birthday parties :)
The seller's transfer disclosure is an attempt to keep everything on the up and up. We all want to be treated fair and just. Unless there is major issues such as plumbing or foundation issues most buyer's can accept minor things and what are mainly visual maintence issues. It is best to disclosue anything
you feel might be an issue. If there are such things as a roof leak or plumbing issues it is best to repair them before putting the house on the market as they will need to be addressed before close of escrow, repaired or they may become a barganing tool for the buyer looking for a lower purchase price.
Lia, when in doubt, disclose!