What is the Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ)?
When a residential property owner wants to sell a property, they try everything they can to make the property look as attractive as possible for all buyers. California law pertaining to selling residential property requires the seller to make many disclosures through different forms such as AVID (Agent’s Visual Inspection Disclosure), the TDS, and, yes, the Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ).
The time for disclosing these individual disclosures may vary from property to property. The TDS, however, is generally the most important of these disclosures required by the law. It’s the “Transfer Disclosure Statement” and entails any material defects that must be disclosed to a buyer before a property is sold. These defects could otherwise impact the value of the property itself.
C.A.R. and Additional Disclosures by Contract
The California Association of Realtors (aptly called C.A.R.) gives out forms that are required for use in real estate transactions. Some additional disclosure forms are needed by the contract, however, but may not be required by the law. The SPQ (Seller Property Questionnaire) is one such disclosure form that is perhaps the most important, second only to the AVID.
The C.A.R. has a Disclosure Chart that mentions all disclosures, their legal basis, and specific uses. For instance, the AVID is typically used when homeowners are exempted from giving a TDS (a special case). Under normal circumstances, both TDS and AVID are given to the buyer.
Seller Property Questionnaires (SPQ) and Residential Purchase Agreements (RPA) also include the disclosure of property conditions that were repaired in some capacity and haven’t occurred since. In comparison to that, the TDS and AVID can only deal with the disclosure of defective conditions that already exist.
What’s Typically Disclosed in the SPQ
The SPQ requires disclosures for repairs and alteration details, structural changes, home systems and appliance defects, as well as disaster relief and insurance or similar settlements made against the property.
It also requires the seller to disclose water damage or mold issues that they are aware of.
Other than that, these are some of the other disclosures that sellers need to know are present in the SPQ form:
- Landscaping, pool and spa issues, such as leaks and cracks in the pool; sprinkler defects; infested plants, shrubs, or trees on the property
- Boundary disputes, surveys, encroachments, and any special permissions granted to others to use and maintain the property
It’s a very comprehensive form that puts both buyer and seller at ease (the seller, in particular, because the buyer will not be able to complain about any problems after they purchase the property).
To download an SPQ, visit the website for the California Association of REALTORS (CAR.org)