How can I be sure past inspections/reports are disclosed to me? Is it up to the agents or is there a forum?

Asked by John Doe, 90501 Sun May 10, 2009

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Leslie Eskil…, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu Sep 23, 2010
Disclosure of past inspections on a home is up to the home seller. If the listing agent is aware of any past inspections, they also have an obligation to disclose that information. In the case where the buyer had an inspection done, then cancelled the purchase, that seller must disclose what they know about the results of the inspection. This is pretty straight forward in the case of a Standard Sale or an Equity Seller. Both the Seller and the Listing Agent have to disclosue material facts that may impact the property.
In the case of a Bank Owned or REO property, the seller is exempt from disclosure since they have never lived in the home and have no disclosures from the previous owner. However, I've been in several situations lately where, during escrow, the buyer's inspection reported and active slab leak and the presence of mold. Even though that buyer eventually cancelled the purchase, and even though the bank is exempt from disclosure, the listing agent is obligated to disclose this information to any subsequent buyers.

While past inspections and reports may help you determine the condition of the home, I would always recommend hiring a reputable, experienced inspector to conduct a thorough inspection, including a mold inspection, and review the resuts along with any previous reports proviced by the seller or the listing agent.

Finally, there is no "forum" for home inspections. The reports are not registered, posted, or tracked by any governing board. They are the property of the person who commissioned the inspection.

Hope this helps!

Leslie Eskidlsen, Realtor
Altera Real Estate
Mission Viejo, CA
As seen in the Orange County Register:
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Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Tue Jun 9, 2009
I would add that when an inspection is done that your agent be there to ask questions and to be shown everything on the report. I always make it a point to be present during inspections and appraisals whether buyer or sellers agent.
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Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun May 10, 2009

I agree with Karen - but I would add, if you are going to purchase any home, make sure you take the opportunity during your contingency period to have any and all inspections performed by qualified industry professionals.

A home is the largest purchase most people will make so do not depend on the seller or "a friend who happens to be a handyman" to help you feel good about the condition of the home. Many buyers resist paying the few hundred dollars for the inspections, but it will be the best investment you will ever make.

Best of luck !

Thom Colby
Broker & REALTOR
Orange County, CA
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Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Sun May 10, 2009

This home is a normal sale with a seller...not a bank. So as part of the disclosures the seller provides to you, they need to tell you everything they know about the property. They do not have to give you past inspections..although you could ask if they have any. But they do need to tell you of problems from the past. For example, if they know there was a leak under the sink, even if they have had it repaired, they need to tell you.

If they don't....and you have a future problem, you can hold them responsible for the lack of disclosure.

Have you seen the home? It's a nice home and has great schools....including Mission Viejo High School.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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