FAQ: What do I have to disclose when selling my San Jose Home?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594

FAQ: What do I have to disclose when selling my San Jose Home?

As a San Jose real estate agent and San Jose short sale agent, this may be the number 1 question I am asked the most. 


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.


Man holding a confidential folderThe 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.  


For Example:

  • 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.   

For Example:

  • 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. 


For Example:

  • 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!



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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Everything is the best answer Kathleen................excellent post!

Jun 04, 2012 12:51 AM #1
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin
St George Utah Area Real Estate Agent at PK Real Estate Utah South - Saint George, UT
Your Preferred St. George Area Real Estate Agent.

Disclose, disclose, disclose! It is the only way to do business Kathleen.

Jun 04, 2012 01:23 AM #2
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist

Roger, Nothing is too small of a detail to disclose. 

Wanda, Indeed it is.  I ask sellers a lot of questions which trigger things they forgot about. 

Jun 04, 2012 01:31 AM #3
Peter Michelbach
International, IT
i Sell Real Estate

Hi Kathleen ~~~ thank you for yet another brilliant post! I too disclose everything I know. Over the years with the 7th owner built home, I always disclosed and made sure to show prospective buyers other similar properties in the neighbourhood.

However, this time I went with a builder, really a very slow process, (never ever!),  but will disclose again when selling. Peace of mind, and most of all doing the right thing!

Kathleen, I have learnt so much by reading your inspiring posts, thank you. Hopefully by the end of this month,  when all my exams are settled I will again be able to enjoy reflecting on some more AR posts.

Jun 06, 2012 12:50 AM #4
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist

Peter,  Thank you so much.  I look forward to reading your inspired posts as well.  I wish you all the best with the exams ... I know you will do well. 

Jun 06, 2012 04:04 AM #5
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

This is a great post, Kathleen.  Disclose everything or it might come back to bite you, especially if a local company did a repair and the new buyers find out.

Jun 11, 2012 01:23 AM #6
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Kathleen Daniels

San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
An Independent San Jose Real Estate Brokerage
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