Legislation requires that the seller has a responsibility for revealing to the buyer the true condition of the property. The concept of selling a property “as is,” with the buyer assuming all responsibility for determining the property condition, is not acceptable in the present marketplace. The sellers must disclose the known condition of the property to the buyer. This information should be made available to the buyer as soon as possible.

Having lived in this property, the seller has become accustomed to the peculiar conditions that may have developed. But for the buyer, that peculiarity may be more than a mere inconvenience. It may be an irritant which the buyer cannot tolerate. It is important for the seller to review the condition of the property with the real estate agent and take special note of any problems. Civil Code Section 1102 requires that the seller provide the buyer with a completed “Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.”

A basic assumption in every sale is that the house and systems in the house are functional. For example, the roof will hold out the rain and sun, the hot water heater will provide hot water, and the heater will provide heat. If it is known that any of the systems do not function properly, such facts should be included in the purchase agreement and acknowledged by the buyer.

An “as is” purchase is perfectly acceptable, as long as the buyer understands exactly what the “as is” condition entails. Thus, it can be said in the purchase agreement that the buyer accepts the roof and the plumbing and the electrical system in their present condition and acknowledges that they have defects. This acknowledgment provides a defense for the seller if it is later claimed he did not disclose the problems.

It is required that the seller discloses any knowledge of environmental hazards in the home or area such as asbestos or pollutants. The buyer will be provided with a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement filled out by the seller as to his awareness or knowledge on this subject.