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Should I Obtain Property Inspections Before I Sell My Home?

I almost always recommend obtaining property inspections from trusted inspectors to my clients. In California it is not required by law to obtain home inspections, but it is certainly a good idea. Keep in mind that most properties are going to have flaws or defects, even newer homes. Although it is a frequent practice for buyers to obtain property inspections prior to buying a home, I believe a seller should know in advance the condition of their property prior to being placed for sale on the market.

If you are a seller, knowing in advance what I buyer may find out is especially important. This doesn’t always mean its bad news; it could be great news! It is recommended to obtain a general home inspection, termite inspection and roof inspection. There are additional inspections to obtain, but these are the primary reports. Sometimes, an inspector may recommend further inspections for specific areas of concern such as plumbing, electrical, foundation, HVAC, drainage, and even potential moisture/mold issues. Don’t let this alarm you. Not all inspections call for further inspections, but if there are safety or health concerns, it’s important to be aware of them. What’s important here is the fact that you, the seller, will know in advance of any potential issues instead of being surprised by a buyer’s inspections during the escrow period. Again, let’s emphasize that there are many property inspectors out there, experience and a good reputation is key.

Please note that certain cities in California have their own ordinances that need to be fulfilled for a sale to be completed. For example, a PLS (Private Sewer Lateral) ordinance requires property owners to test and verify with the city that the sewer line that runs from the property to the central sewer line is in acceptable condition. There are more details to this ordinance, but this is just one example of another inspection that would be needed.

A buyer still has the choice of obtaining their own home inspections at their own expense, but the seller will have prior knowledge of the property’s condition. In California, a seller still has the obligation to disclose all known facts about the property. The seller will have the choice to make any repairs to the property or sell it in an As-Is Condition. Keep in mind that repairs can also be negotiated during a sale. As a seller, it is recommended to have all your options reviewed with you prior to marketing your home for sale when it comes to home repairs. There are certain situations where a seller or an estate is not able to obtain inspections. Not every home sale is the same. For the purposes of this blog, I wanted to provide general information. Guidance on a case-by-case basis is best.

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