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Legal requirements for selling your California home

home miniature with papers to be signed

When selling a home in California, sellers must make sure to follow all the legal requirements. Here’s are the essentials every seller needs to know when selling their California home.

Disclose information about the property

By law, California sellers are required to disclose any pertinent information or material facts about the property to potential buyers. This means all the aspects of your home that could affect your buyer’s desire to purchase the property must be disclosed in writing.

Sellers must complete a Transfer Disclosure Statement or TDS so buyers can get an accurate description of the property’s condition. The disclosure statement form covers everything from your roof and foundation to your appliances and home systems. 

If sellers don’t disclose all material facts, they could face hefty fines. It’s best for you to be upfront about the property you’ve put up for sale to avoid any penalties. A home inspection will be carried out—and any faults are bound to be revealed—so it’s best to disclose everything you know outright. 

Get everything in writing

Selling a home is an important financial transaction. It’s important to get everything in writing so there won’t be any misunderstandings or issues in the future. Get the help of a real estate professional when writing the contract to make sure everything is in order. 

Having everything in writing is beneficial for both the seller and the buyer. Verbal agreements are usually hard to enforce and its validity can always be called into question.

Hire a title company

As part of the selling process, a title company will be hired to conduct a title search and create a Preliminary Title Report or PTR. Mortgage lenders typically require buyers to get title insurance before funding a loan. 

In Southern California, it’s usually the seller who pays for the title insurance. The buyer and the seller should agree on which title company to go with beforehand. According to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, sellers aren’t allowed to require a buyer to use any particular title insurance company.

Get an escrow agent

When it comes time to put the funds into escrow, the buyer and seller must likewise come to an agreement about which escrow company or agent to use. Typically, buyers and sellers in Southern California opt for an independent escrow agent. Both parties are expected to split the cost of hiring an escrow agent.

Pay for transfer tax

When transferring property ownership, the county will impose a transfer tax. Traditionally, sellers pay for the transfer tax in Southern California, but this can be negotiated between the buyer and seller. 

To better prepare for transfer costs and other additional closing fees, it’s best to ask a real estate agent to calculate your expected expenses before the sale.

Get in touch with expert Coachella Valley Realtor John Butler!

With so many things involved in selling a home, getting the right assistance is crucial. When selling a home in the Coachella Valley, enlist the help of top realtor John Butler. Give him a call today at 760.989.2030 or send an email to AmazingDesertHomes(at)gmail(dotted)com.