Agent’s Visual Inspection Comments
“Buyer should hire an inspector” is an all too common agent TDS blanket statement as if it covers that. On the other hand, many agents go far beyond the required objective by itemizing non-material findings such as scratches here and lose handles there. California law is expecting disclosure of substantial material findings.
First: you should state that the date of your signature is the date of your inspection. What material event may happen to the property after that date is why you didn’t mention it.
Second: Your VISUAL inspection is for the land as well as the structures. Yes – walk the yard; check the boundary walls, etc.
Third: Look for important concerns. Material concerns that may not be obvious to the non-licensee, non-trained clients. The best approach is to step into the concerned shoes of the client.
Fourth: We all know MATERIAL is very vague. What’s material for one may not be for others. A practical approach would be to ask the client: “Do you want me to comment on everything I see or just the important things; things that would affect your decision to buy or not?” The worse situation for the agent is the buyer who waives his inspection rights. Is the buyer then going to rely on the agent’s inspection? Let’s hope not! C.A.R.’s agent inspection form AVID is not required by law as is the TDS, but it’s an excellent guide for both agent and client, especially reminding each other of their responsibilities. More and more agents are turning to the C.A.R. form and more and more brokers are demanding the use of it.
Last (but not least): Gilleran Griffin believes a strong client/agent interaction relationship provides the best foundation for TDS disclosures and all other concerns.