A California property disclosure statement, also referred to as a real estate transfer disclosure statement (TDS), is a document used during a real estate transaction to inform buyers of the true condition of the property being sold by an owner (seller). Unless a seller is exempt from providing a TDS (see list of exemptions here), they are required by law to deliver a disclosure form to all prospective buyers.
If the buyer and seller execute a California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (the C.A.R. official version of a purchase and sale agreement), the seller is contractually obligated to complete a Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ) in addition to the TDS. This is because the association of realtors believes the required disclosure statement to be the bare minimum of requirements, and they created the SPQ for the purposes of furthering the transparency of residential real estate transactions.
Laws – CIV § 1102 et. seq.
Purchase Agreement – In addition to the TDS and SPQ, there are a number of other disclosures required by law, including environmental and natural hazards, meth contamination, zoning and location disclosures, and water disclosures, that must be completed by the seller and delivered to buyers. Some of these disclosure forms apply only to specific Californian properties.