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February 16, 2018

What you Need to Know About the Liability and Disclosure of the Property

Is a real estate broker, who is employed by the seller or buyer, under a duty to disclose (Could be variations from one state or provincial jurisdiction to another):

·         "facts materially affecting the value of the property" known to the agent
·         facts the agent should know based on standards of practice in their locale
·         facts that could have been determined by a reasonable and diligent inspection of the property by the agent?

Must agents, in the sale of the residential real estate, identify any "red flags?"

The Landmark Case - Easton Vs. Strassburger (1984), greatly expanded agent and broker liability and placed new disclosure requirements upon licensees involved in residential sales. Licensees were now liable for not only what they knew about a property, but also what they "should have known."

As a result of the Easton Case, California real estate licensees must conduct a "reasonably competent and diligent inspection of properties sold," and fill out the disclosure form.

Possible Short List of "Red Flags:"

·         Stains and discoloration on ceilings and walls
·         Unusual odors
·         Bowing foundation walls
·         Grading sloping toward the house
·         Multiple layers of roofing; dirty or missing gutters
·         Push button light switches/knob and tube wiring/no GFCI
·         BUGS (or evidence of them) in the house (I'm bug-phobic!)
·         Uneven settling - walls or floors
·         Peeling paint
·         Cracked slab
·         Additions Added on illegally
·         Front yard issues, culverts or utility boxes that affect value
·         Front, side or rear set back issues

Can you think of other "Red Flags?

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