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Physical Inspection of Property Is A Valuable Tool

Nef Cortez

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I’ve been in the real estate business for many years and the home buying landscape has changed dramatically over that time. Prior to 1986, the responsibility of determining and assuring that the property being purchased was in good condition depended primarily on the buyer’s own ability to check out the condition of the property before making an offer to purchase. It was pretty much the “caveat emptor” philosophy of “let the buyer beware. ” Buyer’s had little or scanty legal protection and did now allow the buyer any recourse for compensation if major problems were later found. However, times have changed.

In California, government legislated disclosures and clauses in the standard purchase contract have provided for great advancements in protecting buyers’ interests. These disclosure guidelines may not be applicable in other states but there seems to be a trend in the industry toward more disclosure for the buyer. Sellers are required to disclose material facts known to them that may affect the value of the property, and are liable to the buyer for not doing so. One of the best methods of protecting the buyers’ interest is to utilize the services of licensed physical inspection companies.

For a nominal fee, professional inspection companies will check out the general condition of the major systems (i. e. the plumbing, foundation, roof, etc. ) of the home. Their primary function is to determine if any of these systems are not functioning properly, and make recommendations for further inspection or repair. Discovery and negotiation of repair of these items early in the transaction are helpful in the process of a smooth escrow. Every dollar spent for the home inspection will pay off in the long run by informing the buyer whether there are any major issues that are worthy of repair and/or provide the home buyer with a list of items to address at the negotiating table and potentially lower the price of the house.

Typically though, the home inspections do not require repair of or note each and every minor defect caused by normal wear and tear. The acceptance or “discovery” of any existing minor items are left up to the discretion of the buyer.

Nef Cortez has been a licensed real estate broker and has held various positions in the mortgage and real estate industry for over 25+ years. Visit his website at for information on foreclosures.


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