INSPECTION DUTIES

RE:  INSPECTION DUTIES

Duty to Inspect:
Easton v. Strassburger:  In 1984, the Court held that a Seller’s agent has an affirmative duty to conduct a “reasonably competent and diligent inspection” of residential properties and must disclose all facts materially affecting market value or desirability.

California Civil Code §2079:   In 1985, California Civil Code §2079 became law, and requires a licensed real estate professional to conduct a reasonably competent visual inspection of residential properties and disclose all “material conditions” affecting marketability or desirability.  This inspection obligation is owed to both Buyer and Seller.

Duty of Care:

Montoya v. McLeod:  In 1985, the Court held that a licensed real estate professional must exercise a “higher degree of skill” than a layperson in performing inspection duties required by Civil Code §2079.  Agents are expected to conduct a more diligent visual inspection than an average Buyer or Seller.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. 1.     CONDUCT A “REASONABLY COMPETENT VISUAL INSPECTION”.

NOTE ALL “RED FLAGS” ON THE TRANSFER DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
LOOK INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE RESIDENCE.

*STUCCO CRACKS
*CONCRETE CRACKS
*WATER STAINS
*LOW WATER PRESSURE
*RECENT REPAIR WORK
*DROP CEILINGS
*ODORS
*NOISE CONDITIONS (drums, neighbors)
*NUISANCES (lighting, airports, animals)

USE ALL OF YOUR SENSES.

*SIGHT – VISUAL DEFECTS OR CONDITIONS
*SOUND – NEIGHBORHOOD NUISANCES OR NOISES
*SMELL – ODORS

DOCUMENT YOUR VISUAL INSPECTION

*INSPECT EACH ROOM
*INSPECT THE GARAGE
*INSPECT OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
*INSPECT THE YARD

*NOTE ALL “RED FLAGS”
*NOTE ALL CONCEALED AREAS
*NOTE LARGE CARPETS OVER THE FLOOR
*NOTE STRANGE SMELLS
*NOTE NEIGHBORHOOD CONDITIONS (KENNEL, BAND, AIRCRAFT NOISE)

NOTE INACCESSIBLE AREAS OF THE PROPERTY

*BOXES IN GARAGE PREVENT INSPECTION
*LARGE FURNITURE IN LIVING ROOM PREVENTS INSPECTION

NEGLIGENT REFERRAL OF INSPECTOR

*PROVIDE BUYER A LIST OF MULTIPLE INSPECTORS
*HAVE BUYER ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THE LIST
*ASSURE THOSE ON LIST ARE CREIA OR ASHI

INVESTIGATION AS TO PERMITS NOT REQUIRED

*MAKE NO REFERENCE TO ACTUAL SQUARE FOOTAGE W/O SOURCE
*MAKE NO REFERENCE TO STATUS OF PERMITS
*DISCLOSE ALL UNPERMITTED STRUCTURES YOU ARE AWARE OF
*BUYER TO CONFIRM STATUS OF PERMITS
*IF YOU MAKE REPRESENTATIONS, YOU WILL BE LIABLE

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