When purchasing a single family home, one way to understand as much as you can about the property is to have the property physically inspected by a company or individual that specializes in inspecting properties that are being sold. Inspection scheduling in San Francisco is generally done by the buyer’s agent, unless a buyer is relying upon inspections provided by the seller or choosing to purchase the property without a physical inspection.
// This post is a part of our series: Your Guide to a San Francisco Disclosure Package. //
The Inspection Scheduling disclosure is a *general* disclosure. It does not contain information specific to the property in question.
The Inspection Scheduling disclosure is a form that we all have a lawsuit (or lawsuits) to thank for. And while that may sound a bit glib, here’s the essence of it all (in my humble opinion).
Real estate transactions are always time sensitive. Even in “soft” markets, sellers always prefer shorter contingencies to longer contingencies. So buyers typically rely on their agent for advice on who to use for an inspection and to get that inspection scheduled within their contingency timeframe. It raises an interesting question though: will a buyer’s agent select a reputable, honest, reliable inspector or will they toss the inspection to a “yes person” that will keep the deal together even if there are major issues with a property?
In my decade plus years of experience, I always recommend the honest, reputable and reliable inspector because while I know I have to make sure my clients perform within the agreed-upon timeframe, I always choose to take a long term view. I want a good inspection, warts and all, because I want my buyers to someday become my sellers and to recommend me to all of their friends, co-workers, and family.
But not every agent takes that view, and some buyers over the years have felt their agent picked the easy, convenient, or “soft” inspector because they were more interested in closing a deal instead of developing a lifetime relationship.
So you can expect to sign a form that will be similar – if not identical – to the above form saying that you can’t hold your agent responsible for choosing an inspector you don’t like if you’ve given them permission to schedule an inspection for you. And as long as a form was created to share that information, they decided to also mention that agents don’t set rates for contractors, and we don’t verify their insurance, if they are bonded, or any of those other details.
What’s your take away? Let your agent know up front what concerns you have about the inspection scheduling and inspection process. Communicating concerns and expectations up-front is by far the best way to avoid problems down the road.