carbon monoxide law
What does every home in Sacramento need to have to sell to a first-time home buyer who is obtaining financing? You might think the home needs a roof, and you would be right about that. Others might guess a floor and walls, and you’d be partially correct about that answer. Somebody else might suggest a kitchen, and while a home needs to have a sink and stove, it doesn’t need what you might call a full-blown kitchen or even a door to close off that kitchen area. The answer is every home needs a carbon monoxide detector.
Those carbon monoxide detectors have become the bane of our existence for a Sacramento real estate agent. I knew it when the law was passed that this would somehow trickle down to become the listing agent’s responsibility, even though it’s on the buyer’s behalf. Because although the law says homes are required to have a carbon monoxide detector, there are no carbon monoxide detector police about to crash that home and give the homeowner a ticket for not having a CO detector.
I imagine if the home burned down, and the insurance company could prove there was no carbon monoxide detector in the home, that the insurance company could find a way to reject a claim. But when a buyer pays cash and does not insist on a carbon monoxide detector, well, nobody will stop a seller from closing escrow without installing them.
The other question that comes up is how many carbon monoxide detectors are required in California for a home? Are they like smoke detectors and you need one in every bedroom? Nope. The law seems pretty clear that you need a carbon monoxide detector near the bedrooms. If you have a two-story house with a bedroom on the first floor, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor. If it is new construction, a carbon monoxide detector is required on every floor.
This might lead you to believe that if all of the bedrooms are upstairs you need only one carbon monoxide detector, as long as your home is not new construction. While, that might be the strict interpretation of the law, my experience shows that an appraiser will probably see this differently and most likely will require that the home have two carbon monoxide detectors. A third, if there’s a basement.
So, do yourself a favor. If you’re putting your home on the market in Sacramento, just make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor. The appraiser has the last word.
Here is handy fact sheet from C.A.R. about Carbon Monoxide Detectors in California. If you’re looking for more tips from this Sacramento real estate agent, feel free to call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.