When buying or selling a home anywhere in California, sellers and real estate agents are required by law to take a look around and to disclose to the buyer all known material facts and observations that may affect the value or desirability of the home. These days, that is often done by the seller using the Transfer Disclosure Statement, and also done by the agents on the Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure.
Some sellers have occasionally been known to purposely try to hire an out-of-town agent when the seller knows that the building or unit has some kind of problem that the seller would really rather not disclose. This strategy is not likely to work for the seller because most agents will take the time to familiarize themselves with all of the issues of the property so that they will be prepared to handle any objections or questions by prospective buyers. The agent is required to write down all of the issues that they see or know about.
One current example is the Notice of Claim and possible future litigation at Alta Lofts. This is in the gray area because no lawsuit has been filed but the sellers know that a lawsuit may be pending that could potentially affect the value and desirability of the loft condo units. Most sellers and agents will find that information to be material, and thus they are likely to disclose it to the buyer in writing.
The items in an agent’s visual inspection are unlikely to raise a red flag. The AVID form is a disclosure, and is not created by a licensed inspection professional. Nevertheless, some sellers want to at least be sure that their agent does not list items that could be immaterial from the California Association of Realtors(R) AVID Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure form. The seller can let the agent know specifically if the seller believes that any items are not appropriate or material.
For a smooth transaction, buyers and sellers should generally sign most disclosure forms because a disclosure is simply sharing information. When a seller does not sign a common form, it has a substantial likelihood of raising a red flag for the buyer’s agent and the buyer. Failing to complete a common disclosure has a chance of jeopardizing the transaction, and may increase the liability of the seller. It is recommended that sellers consult with an attorney if they have legal questions about the AVID form and California disclosure law.
LOFT & CONDO LISTINGS DOWNTOWN L.A. [MAP]
L.A. Loft Blog, Corey Chambers, Realty Source Inc BRE#01889449