In the State of California there are many disclosures Sellers of Real Property are required to make available to the buyer of their property. If an offer is accepted by the seller of a Murrieta California home the seller must disclose, on various forms, anything that may affect the homes value or desirability to the buyer. This applies to 'Regular' sellers and the forms used are but not limited too:
Seller Property Questionnaire: This form is basically a yes or no form with questions like:
!. Are there pets on the property?
2. Has the home been painted recently?
3. Big Question: Is there anything you are aware of that may affect the value of the property? Certainly open to interpretation.
Transfer Disclosure Disclosure (TDS) This form asks about things listed with a check off format:
Does the home have Central Air, Forced Air Heating, a Stove,Microwave Oven etc and are they in working condition? The seller is to answer these questions honestly and to the best of their abilities and to also list anything not questioned on the form that may affect the Value or desirability of the property. If the neighbors like to fight and beat on one another ever Saturday night and the police are called that is something to be disclosed.
Karen Parsons-Fiddler wrote an excellent post on Activerain about this subject:
Now when it comes to Bank Owned Properties commonly called Real Estate Owned. The reason being they are an Institutional seller and they have never lived in nor seen the home. Really all they know is they have a loan that was not paid so they foreclosed on the property. They are required to follow state law as to Water Heater and Smoke detector Compliance and for this they depend upon the Listing Agent to make sure all State Laws are adhered to.
In all REO sales I advise my clients to get a home inspection prior to the close of escrow. As the listing agent for many REOs I do disclose personally anything that may affect the Value or Desirability of a property even though my seller may be Exempt from said disclosures. If I know about a problem you can rest assured I will tell you, my client, about the situation. After all it's going to be YOUR HOME and You should know as much as possible about the home. I do the same when representing the buyer on another agents REO properties as this is my Fiduciary responsibility to you the buyer.