California Real Estate Purchase Agreement

Last Updated: December 13, 2023 by Phil Ahn

California Real Estate Purchase Agreement Template_1 on

A California residential real estate purchase agreement (“purchase and sale agreement”) is a written document that outlines the terms of a real estate transaction between a buyer and seller of real property. Terms include the purchase price, address of the property, closing date and more.

Do Sellers in California Have to Disclose Property Defects?

California does require real estate sellers to disclose any material defects. Certain states do not require the seller to disclose all defects (caveat emptor), meaning the buyer assumes the responsibility to conduct a real property inspection to seek out any potential defects with the property. In those states, if a buyer fails to conduct a proper examination, they may not have a legal alternative to reverse the real estate transaction.   

Required Seller Disclosures in California

Along with any material defects with the property, sellers in California will also need to provide the following:

  • Structural Integrity Update. Sellers in California are required to report on the home’s structural integrity because it can impact the safety of residents living on the property.
  • Hazardous Materials Update. Sellers in California are required to report on hazardous materials in the home such as:
    • Asbestos
    • Radon gas
    • Contaminated soil
    • Water intrusion
  • Fire Detector Compliance Statement. Sellers are required to provide a form to buyers interested in purchasing a single-family home, that the seller is in compliance with California fire detector laws. 
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. Any home that was constructed earlier than 1978 must come with a disclosure upon the transfer of the property that includes any data concerning the presence of lead on the premises as well as educational materials that communicate the risks involved with coming into contact with the harmful substance.
  • Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. The seller or their agent is responsible to submit a disclosure form to the buyer that informs them of any of the following potential natural hazards:
    • Potential flooding area
    • Very high fire hazard severity zone
    • Seismic hazard zone
    • Delineated earthquake fault zone
    • Special flood hazard area
    • Wildland fire zone
  • Structural Pest Control Report. If included in the sales contract, the seller is obligated to provide the buyer with a report concerning the inspection of any structure-damaging pests or organisms.
  • Transfer Disclosure Statement. Sellers must disclose any known issues that could negatively impact a home’s value or pose an unreasonable risk to the buyers’ safety or health.
  • Water Heater Compliance Statement. Sellers of real property must certify, in writing, that the water heater contained within the property is properly secured to prevent displacement in the event of an earthquake.