Buying real estate in San Diego, CA or anywhere in California is a major step, and you need to be fully prepared for the legal aspects of purchasing a home before plunging in. Real estate attorneys who understand the body of law governing home purchases can help a great deal, and consulting with one of them might help to avoid any unpleasant surprises during the process.
Here are some of the important legal considerations to be aware of:
- Public protection – the state of California considers the protection of the public to be the most important consideration in all its business laws regarding licensure, regulation of business, and disciplinary functions
- Disclosure statements – One of the most important documents you can receive from property sellers in California is the Transfer Disclosure Statement, which is mandated by law, and intended to provide prospective San Diego, CA buyers with specific information so they can make informed decisions about any potential property purchases. The bulk of the information contained on the Transfer Disclosure Statement relates to the physical condition of the property, and this must be kept accurate. Another disclosure you are entitled to as a home buyer is the Natural Hazard Disclosures Statement, which details information about the property’s relative proximity to flood zones, earthquake fault lines, and any other natural hazards which have historically affected the property.
- Dual agent status – A dual agent is an individual who represents both the seller of a property and a potential buyer of that property. Whereas it may seem that a conflict of interest is inherent in this situation, it is allowed under California state law only when the potential buyer is aware of the agent’s status as a representative of the seller as well as a regular real estate agent representing the buyer. Even if the real estate broker you deal with is licensed as a dual agent, it would be well to keep in mind that the agent must somehow balance achieving the highest purchase price for the seller, and the lowest purchase price for the buyer.
- Meeting between Buyer and Seller is not mandatory – California state law does not require that the buyer and seller of any piece of real estate meet in person at any point during the transaction. This means the entire process of home purchasing can be conducted through agents, brokers, or lawyers right through to the actual exchange of possession. One good thing about this is that no schedule conflicts are ever involved with the seller of the property, since everything is done according to the schedule for agents of the buyer and seller.