The Lead Based Paint Disclosure for Sacramento Sellers

Maybe Yes No Keys Representing DecisionsOne of the (many) problems inherent in selling a home yourself as a for sale by owner is FSBOs typically don’t have the seller disclosures. All sellers in California are required to disclose certain conditions and information about a home. Most of the time, a seller never gives these things a second thought because her agent handles that for her by providing the forms. We are constantly, as Sacramento real estate agents, thinking about managing risk for our sellers and, by extension, ourselves.

I try to have that “disclosure talk” involving potential lawsuits with each and every one of my sellers. I must put the fear of god into them because of the way some respond. For example, yesterday, a seller sent me a series of emails about whether his home has or does not have lead-based paint. He couldn’t remember when he bought the home what the seller at that time had disclosed. He wanted to make sure he disclosed the same thing. I love sellers like him to pieces. They are conscientious.

The lead-based paint form is a federal form that is required for every California real estate transaction in which the home was built prior to 1978, and I use it for transactions involving newer homes as well. You never know where a person might buy lead-based paint. It’s still sold in some states.

The lead-based paint form states there might be lead-based paint in the home. It puts a buyer on notice that if a buyer is concerned, the buyer needs to further investigate. This might involve having the paint tested. There is also another law that says you can’t hire a painter to paint a home who doesn’t comply with lead-based paint removal procedures.

My seller wanted a yes or no answer. Should he say yes he has lead-based paint or should he say no, he does not. Not everything in life requires a yes or no answer. Some things simply need to be disclosed and a seller should disclose what a seller knows for certain to be true. My seller was pretty happy yesterday that he had a real estate agent. While we can’t fill out these forms for our sellers, we can direct and help them to make the right decisions.

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