State law in California provides that the seller has a responsibility for revealing the true condition of the property. The seller must disclose all known defects, as well as anything else they may be aware of that could adversely affect the value of the property.
What is Required? Every property has its own eccentricities. Many of these "quirks" may have become acceptable to the seller, but could be annoying or problematic for the buyer. Sellers should disclose anything they know is defective, not operating as designed, or that could be a nuisance to the buyer. To that end, Civil Code Section 1102 requires that the seller provide the buyer with a completed "Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement".
There are new requirements for disclosure almost every year. For example, in California it is now required that Sellers disclose whether the property is located in a mapped seismic hazard or fault zone. Depending on the age of the property you are purchasing, the Seller may be required to disclose whether they have knowledge of any lead based paint in or on the property. There are many other required documents. Your Realtor will ensure you receive all appropriate documents and disclosures.
Supplemental Disclosures: The Purchase Contract contains options providing how the pest work is to be paid for. All damage is negotiable. Factors to be considered include the contract purchase price, whether there is a backup offer on the property, and how important this particular property is to you. Your Realtor will use their experience to help analyze your situation.
What is the Condition? Many homes sales, are resale of older homes. When purchasing an older home, you cannot expect that everything will be functioning properly. In addition, improvements may not meet current building codes, as the codes constantly evolve. Many homes have improvements completed without obtaining a building permit. Through the inspection process, care is taken to address these issues. Your Realtor will review the comparable sales with you, and note the relative condition of the property you are purchasing.