Under California Civil Code Section 2079.50 it states that it is the home buyer’s responsibility to seek out information and protect their interest when purchasing a home. As such every buyer is advised to seek out experts to inspect a home –existing or new- for possible defects. Generally speaking, unless a seller guarantees the condition or useful life of a component of their home in the purchase contract, the buyer is on their own to absorb any risks associated with ownership of the property.
The seller and the broker are required by law to disclose to the buyer any known defects that would affect the value of the property. As a rule, anything disclosed by the seller as a possible defect should be thoroughly investigated by the buyer with the assistance of a qualified professional. The seller is required only to disclose. They have no obligation to offer advice or opinion.
For example, if the seller knows the foundation leaks, their responsibility is to disclose this knowledge. However the reality may be that the leak –while only minor at the moment- may be a sign of an impending problem of much more significance. Any disclosure by the seller should be examined in detail by the buyer.