Buying or selling a home in California can be a complex process. One of the most crucial aspects of this process is understanding California real estate law. These laws and regulations govern how real estate transactions are conducted and can have a significant impact on the outcome of a deal. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of California real estate law and discuss key aspects that buyers and sellers should be aware of before entering into a real estate transaction.

California Real Estate Law

Disclosure Requirements

One of the most important aspects of California real estate law is disclosure requirements. Sellers are required to disclose all known material defects in the property to potential buyers. This includes any issues with the property’s structure, plumbing, electrical systems, and other key components. Failure to disclose such defects can lead to legal issues and potential lawsuits. It is essential that sellers work with a qualified California realtor who can guide them through the disclosure process and ensure that they are meeting all of their legal obligations.

Contracts and Agreements

Another critical aspect of California real estate law is the use of contracts and agreements. When buying or selling a property, it is essential to have a written agreement in place that outlines the terms of the transaction. This agreement should cover the purchase price, any contingencies, and other key details. It is important to work with an experienced real estate agent or attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of these agreements and ensure that your interests are protected.

Financing and Mortgages

California real estate law also governs the financing and mortgage process. Lenders are required to provide borrowers with specific disclosures, including the loan estimate, which outlines the terms and costs of the loan, and the closing disclosure, which details the final costs of the transaction. Buyers should carefully review these disclosures and work with their real estate agent or attorney to ensure that they understand all of the terms and conditions of the loan.

Title and Escrow

Title and escrow are other critical aspects of California real estate law. Escrow is the process by which a neutral third party holds and disburses funds and documents during a real estate transaction. Title insurance is also required in California to protect buyers and lenders from any legal issues that may arise with the property’s title. It is important to work with a qualified escrow company and title insurance provider to ensure that all aspects of the transaction are handled appropriately and legally.

10 Common California Real Estate Laws

1. When selling a home in California, California real estate law states it is mandatory to involve an escrow agent to facilitate the transaction. The buyer deposits funds into the escrow account while the seller deposits the property deed. The escrow company then holds these items securely. Once all the conditions of the transaction are met, the escrow agent transfers the funds to the seller and the deed to the buyer.

2. California’s real estate laws grant buyers the right to take legal action for fraudulent misrepresentation if the seller hid a known defect. If the buyer files a lawsuit, their attorney will interview relevant parties to determine whether the defect was concealed from the buyer or if the buyer was aware of the issue.

3. When selling a property in California, a title company conducts a title search to create a Preliminary Title Report (PTR). Based on the PTR, the title insurance company provides the buyer with title insurance to protect against any future claims or disputes over ownership of the property.

4. When a property is sold in California, a transfer tax is imposed by the county or city to signify the transfer of ownership from seller to buyer. In Northern California, the buyer usually pays the transfer tax, whereas in Southern California, the seller is typically responsible for paying it.

5. In California, real estate laws require that potential buyers are informed about the presence of lead paint in the property and its potential risks. Real estate agents must provide full documentation of the property’s paint history, and a state-accredited inspection is necessary to determine the presence of lead paint.

6. California’s real estate laws state that all housing units must have a minimum of one smoke detector outside each sleeping area. The seller or agent is obligated to provide written evidence of the present smoke detectors.

7. According to California civil law, real estate agents must provide information about the window security bars of a property to potential buyers. They must also describe any other safety mechanisms and provide instructions on how to remove the bars.

8. The seller of a property in California is required to provide certain information regarding the property’s ownership and physical condition. This includes details on property tax, nearby military artillery locations, the condition of appliances and features, and the presence of lead-based paint, among other things.

9. According to California real estate law, real estate agents are mandated to provide a real estate transfer statement and disclose any agency relationship with the seller, negotiability of real estate commissions, and sales price information. The disclosure law also requires agents to inform potential buyers if a death has occurred on the property in the past three years and advise them to check the national registry for sex offender locations.

10. When financing a real estate property, the lender must disclose information about any advance fees, the transfer of loan servicing, and the borrower’s right to a copy of the appraisal report. The real estate disclosure law also requires lenders to provide information about lending credit terms and whether an agent receives compensation from a lender.

Have More Questions or Ready to Buy or Sell?

Looking for expert guidance in buying or selling a property in your area? Have more questions about California real estate law? Look no further than the Vasquez Team! With our extensive experience and proven track record of success, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don’t wait any longer – contact Hector and Ana today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards achieving your dreams.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, we can help you navigate the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease.

Ana and Hector Vasquez

Ana and Hector Vasquez

Ana and Hector Vasquez are the founders of Vasquez Real Estate, pioneering a culture of excellence and service since 2001. Their collective expertise in real estate brokerage, sales, and management has empowered the team to guide home buyers and sellers across Contra Costa County, the Bay Area, Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Joaquin County. They’re dedicated to ensuring every client experiences confidence, joy, and unmatched support throughout their real estate journey. At Vasquez Real Estate, exceeding expectations through transparency, honesty, and unwavering integrity is their commitment to making your real estate transaction a remarkable milestone in your life.