Breaking Down the 2024 Changes to California Real Estate Laws

What You Need to Know

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law graphic keys and judge gavel

The State of California has made several changes to California real estate laws in 2024, impacting buyers, sellers and real estate agents. 

The landscape of California real estate is ever-evolving, influenced by market trends, societal shifts, and legislative updates. In 2024, several significant changes have been implemented in California real estate law, impacting both buyers and sellers, as well as real estate professionals. These alterations reflect the state’s ongoing commitment to enhancing transparency, fairness, and sustainability within the real estate sector. Let’s delve into the key amendments and their implications for all stakeholders.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law agent working with her clients to sign documents

Residential Exclusive Listing Agreements Act (AB-1345)

One significant change introduced by AB-1345 is the limitation imposed on exclusive listing agreements for residential properties. Under this law, exclusive listing agreements for properties ranging from one to four units cannot exceed 24 months, with renewals capped at 12 months. Additionally, automatic extensions of exclusive listings and recording or filing agreements for residential properties are prohibited. Violating these provisions could result in penalties for licensed real estate professionals.

Read the full text of AB-1345 here.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law builder looking at plans for a remodel

Disclosure Requirements for Residential Flippers (AB-968)

Flippers of residential properties are now required to disclose recent repairs and renovations in addition to existing disclosure obligations. This applies to properties resold within 18 months of closing, and must include a list of all repairs and renovations made to the property during that time as well as the name of each contractor who worked on the project and whether or not permits were obtained.

Read the full text of AB-968 here.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law ADU in back yard

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Regulations (AB-1033 & SB-976)

AB-1033 allows local agencies to adopt ordinances permitting the separate sale of ADUs from primary residences as condominiums, providing more flexibility to homeowners by in effect splitting their lot into condominiums with an association. Cities must opt into the new program which will allow property owners to sell their ADUs separately from their main residence.

As of this writing (February 2024), I am not currently aware of any towns in Marin County which have approved the separate sale of ADUs. You can read more about the impact in the North Bay in this article from the North Bay Business Journal.

 SB-976 makes permanent the prohibition on local governments from requiring owner-occupancy on parcels containing ADUs, facilitating ADU development and rental.

Read the text of AB-1033 here.

Read the text of SB-976 here.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law mock notary seal graphic

Remote Online Notarization (SB-696)

The introduction of Senate Bill 696 presents a significant expansion in notarial practices in California. The bill aims to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of notarization processes by authorizing notaries to perform acts originating from other states, Federally-recognized Indian tribes, foreign states, or under federal law, as if conducted within California. Furthermore, the bill introduces provisions for online notarizations, allowing notaries to apply for registration with the Secretary of State to conduct online notarizations after meeting specific requirements. 

It mandates entities offering online notarization services to register with the Secretary of State, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and establishing civil penalties for violations. Additionally, the bill imposes responsibilities on online notaries, such as maintaining sequential journals and electronic records, and outlines requirements for online notarization platforms, including data security measures and prohibitions on unauthorized access or sharing of notarial acts.

Read the full text of SB-696 here.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Law firefighters fighting a raging fire

New Fire Hazard Disclosures (AB-1280)

AB-1280 amends California’s real estate law regarding natural hazard disclosures for single-family residential properties and mandates more specific information about fire hazard severity zones. Under the updated law, sellers must specify whether the property is located in a high or very high fire hazard severity zone on the natural hazard disclosure statement. Additionally, the disclosure must indicate if the property is situated in a high fire hazard severity zone in a state responsibility area, very high fire hazard severity zone in a state responsibility area, or very high fire hazard severity zone in a local responsibility area. This amendment aims to provide prospective buyers with clearer information about the potential risks associated with purchasing properties in fire-prone areas.

As a reminder, AB-38 was passed in 2019 and became effective in 2021, requiring heightened fire disclosures when selling homes in California. You may check the status of your property to see if it is in a high fire zone and you can also order the required fire inspection if needed at this site:

Read the full text of AB-1280 here.

2024 Changes to California Real Estate Laws Conclusion

The 2024 changes to California real estate law signify a concerted effort to address pressing issues, including housing affordability, environmental sustainability, and fair housing practices. By prioritizing tenant protections, promoting sustainability, combating discrimination, enhancing disclosure requirements, and embracing technology, California aims to foster a more equitable, transparent, and resilient real estate landscape. Real estate professionals and stakeholders must familiarize themselves with these updates to navigate the evolving regulatory framework effectively and uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in their practices.

The above are some highlights to the changes in laws impacting real estate transactions in California but the list is not all-inclusive. Visit the California Department of Real Estate for more information on changes to real estate laws in California in 2024.

The above article is for general purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Always consult with the relevant professionals when contemplating a real estate transaction in California.

As a top real estate agent working in Marin County, I would be delighted to help you navigate the ongoing changes in California real estate and make your real estate goals attainable. Call or text me at 415-847-5584 and together we will pave the road to your success.

Marin County Realtor Thomas Henthorne headshot

About Thomas Henthorne

Thomas Henthorne is consistently top-ranked, award-winning real estate agent in Marin, helping people buy and sell homes for almost a decade. He writes the #1 real estate blog in Marin County and is a frequent speaker on panels at industry gatherings.

He may be reached at 415-847-5584.

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4 replies
    • Thomas Henthorne
      Thomas Henthorne says:

      That’s an excellent question and only time will tell. Many of these housing density laws have no precedent so we are in uncharted territory here. However, if they form a condo association and are sold as condominiums, it could work and help some people remain in their homes while offsetting costs by selling a fraction of that home. As my momma used to say… “we’ll see…”


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