FAQ: What do I have to disclose when selling my San Jose Home?
What do I have to disclose?
My response: EVERYTHING.
Should I disclose [fill in the blank]?
My response: Yes, if you know it, disclose it!
When preparing a San Jose home for sale, there are three disclosures a seller must complete and are included in the seller disclosure package. The disclosures are:
- Transfer Disclosure Statement (“TDS”)
- Supplement Statutory and Contractual Disclosure (“SSD”)
- Seller Property Questionnaire (“SPQ”)
All other disclosures and documents that are part of the seller disclosures are completed by me, the listing agent, for the sellers review and signature. The documents listed above must be completed by the seller.
The general rule regarding disclosure is “disclose what you know.” There is no such thing as seller confidential when it comes to disclosure.
I recommend sellers ‘be the Buyer’ when completing the disclosures. What I mean by this is to provide as much detailed information about the property that you would want to know if you were buying the home.
The standard of care regarding disclosure requirements are to disclose what you know. While I am not an attorney, I can tell you what real estate attorneys teach in legal update classes.
“Courts look at disclosure as what one knows … or should have known. What this means is that if one is living in the property there are expectations of responsible ownership versus negligent ownership. Courts do not see “ignorance” as a defense for failing to disclose.”
As a San Jose real estate agent I cannot stress enough how important it is to disclose everything. This applies to San Jose short sales as well. A short sale does not exempt a seller from their duty to disclose.
The real estate attorneys who teach legal update classes love telling stories about the things that sellers (and agents) do that land them in court. We are told that most lawsuits that occur after escrow closes are the result of failing to disclose material facts.
Material facts are matters that impact value or desirability of property; issues that if a buyer had known, may not have offered to purchase the property or offered the price they paid for the property.
- Seller filled the underground pool with dirt
- Seller buried several deceased pets in the backyard
- Seller’s relative or friend died in the home within the past three years
This includes past conditions or issues which were repaired or replaced by the seller.
- Roof leaks – must be disclosed even if the seller installed a new roof and discloses when the new roof was installed.
- Plumbing leaks – must be disclosed even if seller installed a new garbage disposer and discloses when the new disposer was installed.
We also can’t assume because it is “visible” to the eyes that we do not need to disclosure it.
- Location on the street
- Nearby bus stops
- Train tracks
- Traffic and possible noise from the traffic
FAQ: What do I have to disclose when selling my San Jose Home? Disclose everything. If you know it - disclose it!