The Legal Aspects of Home Selling in Camas

The Legal Aspects of Home Selling in Camas

  • David Merrick
  • 10/2/23

Camas is a thriving town in Clark County, Washington. While officially in Washington State, this city boasts a personality of its own and is an integral part of the nearby Portland Metro Area. With its historic charms, excellent dining spots, eclectic shops, and exciting natural attractions, Camas always gives residents great options for things to do. For those wishing to venture out of the city center, the Columbia River and surrounding acres of lush parklands offer even more to make the most of your outings.

What is the current state of the Camas real estate market?

Camas real estate is arguably one of the hottest in the country, driven by increasing population amid low home inventory. However, like all other Washington metros, home prices steadily decline as the market rebalances due to higher mortgage rates and lower demand. With the Fed confirming interest rates might not stabilize anytime soon, waiting too long to sell your home could mean accepting a much lower selling price.

If you are ready to sell your house in Camas, now could be the perfect time to list. However, getting a home off the market is challenging work that requires adequate preparation and in-depth knowledge of all the legal requirements. The real estate experts at David Merrick discuss the legal aspects of home selling in Camas.

Seller disclosure requirements

Washington law requires home sellers to disclose any known information that may impact the buyer's decision to purchase the house. Here are some of the disclosure requirements you need to know when selling a property in Camas:

Lead-based paint disclosure

The Federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act requires a seller to provide disclosure information regarding lead-based paint or chipped paint in any home built before 1978. This act is an integral part of any real estate disclosure requirements that guarantee protection to residents from likely exposure to lead paint dust or poisoning. The law requires sellers to notify the buyer whether the property has records of lead-based paint hazards.

General disclosure requirements

Sellers in Camas are legally required to disclose material defects about their home using the seller disclosure form. It's important to complete the form accurately, as it informs the buyer of the property's condition prior to purchase. As a general rule, you have a legal obligation to reveal any defects or issues that you are aware of and have knowledge of in good faith. However, you are not expected to disclose defects or issues that you were unaware of or did not have full knowledge of. Other Washington general disclosure requirements may include:

  • Underground storage tank disclosure: You must disclose whether there are any underground storage tanks on your property.

  • Flood zone statement: Some mortgages, such as federally backed mortgages, may require a seller to disclose information about the property's flood risk.

Legal documentations

During the closing process, it is vital to provide all the necessary documents and forms. Here is a quick breakdown of all the paperwork for all Camas real estate sales:

  • Two forms of ID: In most cases, you must provide a valid passport, driver's license, or other form of Washington-issued ID.

  • Copy of purchase and sale agreement and any addendums: Provide copies of the signed sales agreement and any agreed-upon changes.

  • Closing statement: Sellers must also provide a detailed list of any costs related to the sale and state the party that will pay the costs. The seller's escrow agent or title company typically prepares the closing statement.

  • Signed deed: You need a signed deed proving you are the rightful owner to legally transfer your property to new owners. At closing, you will sign the deed over to the buyer.

  • Bill of sale: This is a receipt detailing your information and the buyer's. It also details the final price of the home and what was included in the sale.

  • Affidavit of title: As a notarized document, it states that you own the home and the property has no liens. It also states you are not simultaneously selling the home to other buyers.

  • Other documents: Other possible documents include loan payoff information, proof of repairs or renovations, copies of home inspection results, relevant wills, trusts, or power of attorney letters, HOA forms and guidelines, and survey results or survey affidavits.

Home-selling taxes

You are legally bound to pay taxes on the proceeds of your home for sale. Property taxes in Clark County are determined based on a mill levy system related to the annual taxing district budgets. On November 30 of each year, the county assessor determines the amount of funds required to support the budget. As such, property taxes can increase when individual taxing districts request more money from property owners.

Home inspections

You should also be aware of any local ordinances or regulations that may apply, such as home inspection requirements or special assessments. In most cases, the purchase agreement between the buyer and seller will outline the terms and conditions related to inspections. Both parties can have a clear understanding of the home's condition. Although it is not the seller's responsibility, one can choose to have a pre-listing inspection done before putting their home on the market to identify any issues that could affect the sale. This way, you can address problems proactively and make your home more attractive to buyers.

Listing agreements

If you are working with a real estate agent, ensure you understand the listing agreement terms and commission structure. A listing agreement is a legally binding contract outlining both parties' scope of services, responsibilities, and obligations. Understanding the terms ensures the agreement aligns with your expectations and legal requirements. Additionally, you can better undertake your budgeting and financial planning when you understand the commission structure.

Closing costs

Both seller and buyer pay certain closing costs at the end of a real estate transaction in Camas. Typically, the seller pays a higher monetary amount in closing costs, which include the realtor commission. Depending on the condition of the real estate market, you can negotiate your share of closing costs with the buyer.

Can I cancel a real estate contract in Camas?

Yes, you can cancel the Camas as-is real estate contract under some circumstances. For example, if the buyer fails to get the mortgage preapproved within a specified number of days, you are at liability to cancel the contract.

Let the experts at David Merrick Real Estate help you sell your home in Camas

While it may seem straightforward, selling a home in Camas is a tedious process with many legal aspects to consider. When selling your home, it is best to seek the guidance of an experienced realtor with a deep understanding of the local laws. At David Merrick Real Estate, the experts can handle all stages of the selling process — from home valuation and listing to closing. The team strives to ensure that clients maximize their returns and comply with existing laws during the selling process. Contact David Merrick Real Estate today to schedule a consultation with one of their experienced team members.

*Header photo courtesy of David Merrick

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With more than 25 years of corporate retail experience (sales, buying and district management), I strive to give every client the personal service and attention to detail that they deserve. I would love to work with you on your next real estate adventure. Contact me anytime.