I built a new home in CA. It has never been lived in and is just completed. A Realtor mentioned to me that selling a new home in CA is handled

Asked by Robert Vanlandingham, Laguna Niguel, CA Sun Oct 3, 2010

differently than a simple resale. According to him SB800 comes into play and I am required to furnish the buyer a copy of certain civial codes, etc. Does SB800 apply to just people in the business of selling new homes or to me as well? I was going to live in it, but decided to sell it!
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Steven Abrah…, Agent, LAGUNA BEACH, CA
Mon Oct 4, 2010
Before I get started, I am not an attorney and this information is strictly an opinion!
That being said, if you were to speak to a group of real estate attorneys, brokers and agents, you will receive conflicting and confusing information.
Here is the problem with SB800 and your particular circumstance:
Although SB800 was intended for builders in the trade of building homes to sell (c.c. 911), you are liable because of the building standards required in this bill (c.c. 869).
This bill was written to protect the consumer and to limit the liability of the builder.
If problems occur with the construction or something as small as cabinet doors, the buyer can claim you are liable and the decision could be up to a judge to determine the outcome.
Keep in mind, with the New Construction Addendum buyers and sellers have a choice of Adversarial or Non-Adversarial.
Well, kind-of-sort-of, but we will save that for a later discussion.
With this Bill in place and your situation, you have a few choices to make-
The buyer may use the standard Residential Purchase Agreement Contract (CAR form) and add the New Construction Addendum (CAR form).
If you accept their agreement, you are acknowledging you are in agreement to abide by SB800.
If the buyer simply uses the Res. Purchase Agreement without the New Construction Addendum and a problem occurs later, you could argue that your intent was to live in the home, decided to sell it simply as a homeowner and that SB800 did not apply to you.
Either way, You are in a defensive position because of SB800.
Bottom line- The law is the law! You can express your intent, but you are liable because of SB800.
What I Would do-
Provide the buyer with a Builder's Warranty. There are a few good companies out there. This is not a Home Warranty.
If you are insolvent, you will need to provide a Surety Bond as well.
SB800 is complicated.
You definitely want a Realtor who is experienced in New Construction representing you.
Because you are a subcontractor or contractor of the home, you will be liable for issues that arise with the home.
The Builder's Warranty and, if necessary, the surety bond will help!
Real Estate Brokers and Agents are not allowed to give legal advice and if you have legal questions, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney in your area!
Call me and I can go into greater detail from a real estate broker’s perspective!
My direct number is 949.378.4005.
Steven Abraham
Licensed Real Estate Broker
License # 01246369
“25 Years of Professional Real Estate Experience”
Prudential CA Realty
Prudential Commercial Investment Division
“A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate”
CEO-Laguna Castles, Inc.
949.378.4005 Direct
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Robert Vanla…, , Laguna Niguel, CA
Mon Oct 4, 2010
Thanks Connie, Steve & Valorie. I subcontracted the home and did most of the work. I am affraid that I am responsible. When I read the C. Codes it appears it was originally intended for builders, but includes me!
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Connie Bramb…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Sun Oct 3, 2010
Hi Robert,
It is my understanding that unless you were the contractor that built the home yoou are not personally responsible. When you say you built the home do you mean (you built) or you had it built? At any rate you should not mess with that on this or any other site. Talk to an attorney. Should just take a phone call on your part. I sent a link to info on this and an article by an attorney on it.
If you have a realtor ask them to find out for you, I would do that for my client!
If the home is in North Orange County I would be happy to market it for you.
Best of luck to you,
Connie Bramble
Prudential CA Realty

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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun Oct 3, 2010
Hi Robert, the link that Valorie provided below would indicate that you fall under SB800 if you are the ORIGINAL seller of the home (seek a legal opinion to be sure), as follows:

"The legislation specifies the rights and limitations of individual owners of single family homes and individual units of attached dwellings and, in the case of a common interest development (i.e., condominium project), any association of owners, to bring an action for construction defects against a builder, developer or original seller ("builder"), and the requirements for doing so."

I cover SB800 on page 3 of this document: http://docs.Steven-Anthony.com/BuilderRealtorAgent.pdf
You will also find an additional link that covers SB800 more thoroughly. A number of CA Civil Code Sections are touched on; however, the most prudent thing to do in my opinion is to seek legal advice!

Best, Steve
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Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Sun Oct 3, 2010
Hi Robert,
The best I could come up with is this web page http://library.findlaw.com/2003/Oct/15/133089.html
Check it out and ask some questions on line. You need the time frame when the house was finished and the contractor that did the work.
Valorie Stover Broker
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Robert Vanla…, , Laguna Niguel, CA
Sun Oct 3, 2010
I realize I have to have the cert. of occupancy, but what about SB800 and this bills requirments?
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Bonnie Hart, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Sun Oct 3, 2010
Hi Robert,

Yes you must have compliance with your city and make sure you have a certificate of occupancy in order to live or sell. The new owner will want to see all of your inspection reports and warranties.
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Monir Mamoun, Agent, Denville, NJ
Sun Oct 3, 2010
Hi Robert, I don't know the answer but I know some attorneys who DEFINITELY do know SB800. Give them a call and see what they say. Link included below.

If you could use a referral for a FANTASTIC agent in your area, please contact me. I have an experienced associate in/around Laguna Niguel.
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