Hey, All: When in the purchase process are disclosures conventionally disclosed in San Francisco/California? Before the offer? After? On the request of a potential buyer? I’ve read that the customary timing can be different from market to market, and that this timing can make a difference. Thank you.
You can ask for disclosures at any tine after the house goes on market from the LA
Thank you, Cloud. Good to know.
Do your own due diligence. Disclosures are designed to to protect the seller, not you.
My humblest apologies, Elt1. I had thought that asking questions on this forum was part of my due diligence. It’s possible that I don’t understand the definition of the phrase. Here’s the definition I found: “business: research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction…” (Merriam-Webster.) It’s always possible you’re looking at a different definition, and I’d be truly appreciative if you’d send it on.
Before posting here I did look around for literature on disclosures. The clearest bit of reading I found was on Zillow. It appears to assert that the disclosure is in part for the buyer’s benefit (so that s/he’s not buying a pig in a poke), and in part for the seller, to ward off possible lawsuits. Here’s the article: https://www.zillow.com/blog/real-estate-disclosures-62807/
Anyway, I’d love to see any literature you might care to provide that says that disclosures are for the benefit of the seller, but not for the buyer. I’m always on the lookout for good intel.
In the meantime, all the best, and thank you for the feedback.
It means going there and looking at everything. inspections are your responsibility. The ones done by the seller or others may or may not be adequate.
Elt1 just means “Don’t trust the seller, and don’t trust the people they hired.”
However, depending on the situation, you may have to be careful about how you get an inspector in. I thought based on previous posts here and the RF 1.0 forums, that you can’t get an official inspection without the seller’s permission, but also you can’t get the inspection without handing over the results (which the seller is then obliged to share), so that makes the seller nervous. So if you’re putting in an offer which waives inspection contingencies, you’ll need to ask if they’re ok with you doing an inspection before putting in the offer.
That said, when I’ve asked about inspections, frequently I’ve been told that I was free to do my own (on my own dime–keep that in mind–it’s always your $$, you’re not going to get reimbursed). I suspect that if seller’s agent discourages an inspection, it’ll look like they’re hiding something which will then be used against them later if you find something big and try to sue post purchase.
Hey, Terri: Wow, that’s useful information. It’s all valuable but, maybe oddly, I find the most valuable bits to be - for lack of a better way of saying it - about the psychology of the seller and the agent. What makes them a little nervous, for example. I’m probably a little weak on anticipating how people might feel and behave in given situations. Thank you very very much.
Inspections are over rated. In the BA you are mostly paying for the land and location. Maybe a quarter of the price is the structure. If it a total piece of crap then stay away. If it needs some minor repairs, then why kill a deal for 5% of the price. A home warranty should give you piece of mind. But remember your future appreciation is based on the lot and location not the structure. I rarely worry about the inspections and have bought property site unseen. Remember if the inspections miss something you will be stuck with the repairs unless you want an expensive court case.
Look for basics. Sloping floors, drainage problems, water in crawl space, stains and cracks in the ceiling.
Age and condition of appliances and heater. Older than ten years … not worth much.
Super old buildings 50 plus may have electrical and plumbing issues.
Don’t get hung up over fixtures. I have seen greedy sellers remove light fixtures. On my farm deal, the seller took a $60 pot rack. My wife called her on it. The greedy seller told her where to find it on Amazon… low class.
Yes, don’t bother about the fixtures of the house. If you like the land and location, and bones of the house is good, overpay! add in a Tesla, if necessary.
Lot and land can’t be changed. The rest is expendable
A lot in PA for $3m has house that will be torn down.
I’m on the other side here–when we bought, we did not have a lot of funds to fix stuff (our 12mo of PITI was tied up in newly IPOd stock that we couldn’t sell), nor did we want to spend much time doing so, so condition was very important to us–this is a decision you have to make for yourself. I’m not an investor renting out a property, so what I get is what I live with and what I have to fix myself since that’s on me, not my husband.
A little off topic, but something that you might want to do is meet the neighbors and ask if there are concerns that they have with the property or know of regarding houses in the area, and any rules they have agreed on with the owners. As to the houses in the area, you’ll get a sense if all the houses have foundation issues on the street due to the type of soil that the houses are built on.
But also, I think there should be a line on the disclosures for how you’ve pissed off your neighbors. The day after we closed, I called the neighbors I knew had cats (who I’d even met two or three times when parking to see the house), and mentioned that we were going to tent, then asked if they knew where a downspout drained out (I’m thinking I don’t want the gas flooding out onto their property), AND OH MAN did I get an earful about issues that they’d had with the previous owners–drainage issues, and concerns that parking along the shared fence had cracked their retaining wall and how much that retaining wall had cost, and how the owners had cut a taproot of a tree and how much fixing it had cost, and how the owners had harassed them about replacing the fence before the sale and how they didn’t have that money, and are we sure we want to tent–what about using the orange stuff to kill the termites and… I hung up and was like “WOAAAAAAAAAAH. Welcome to home ownership! ”
Thanks, Elt1: Nice video. I’d actually trust Buffett on almost everything. Probably everything. I’m very inclined now to believe that seller disclosures aren’t very valuable. I knew that buyer-side inspections were important, but I guess I didn’t really put as much weight on them as I probably should. It sounds like 5% weight on disclosures and 95% weight on my own inspection. And of course your advice on home warranties is well-taken, as is the advice on what in particular to be looking for during inspection. I definitely don’t want to deal with a lawsuit. When I was much younger, maybe I would have had the fight in me. This time around, I just want to enjoy my home.
Thanks very much Terri, for all your advice. I think I’m OK with some fixing up. When the problems are mainly minor or cosmetic (painting, a little plumbing, and so on), I actually kind of like it in the same way I like building my own computers. It can be relaxing and you’re saving a bit of money. And because I’ve gone through the process of hiring contractors for bigger stuff, I think I’ll be competent at that. (I could be very very wrong about this.)
I’m in the same situation as you; I’m not an investor, just a home buyer who hopes that this’ll be my last home. So, while I don’t mind doing some repair work, I couldn’t agree more that you have to really like and feel comfortable with what you buy. For me, as long as the bones are good (as Elt1 was saying), there’s a place to play with a dog (even if just a nearby park), a cafe nearby, and enough square feet so that I don’t feel as if I’m living on a postage stamp, I think I’ll be OK.
I also hadn’t really thought about talking to neighbors about the shape of the house. That’s a really good piece of advice. I’m a little diffident by nature, so I wonder whether it’s ridiculous to think I could find an inspector who’d do that for me. I don’t know whether I could field a phone call like the one you’re describing. In my opinion you’re pretty patient and brave to let the neighbor spin out his/her story to the end. It sounds as if you were put in a position of having to make up for some of the bad behavior of the previous owner.
Thanks, hanera. Great advice. But what if the chandeliers are made of 100-year-old Tiffany glass? (Just kidding.)
Things like that should be specified in the contract.
Also, there is something you do want them to leave behind, you should include it in the contract as well. That includes dishwasher/stove/fridge. Better safe than sorry, because either way you’re the loser.
That would include things you don’t want left. Like if they have a 500 pound safe in the attic, you might want to specify that it has to be removed.
Some sellers make disclosure available right with the listing. Why would someone not want to disclose?