December 2006 (Palm Springs, Calif.) - In an ongoing series during its 30th anniversary year, the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) cautions home buyers and sellers, as well as all individuals involved in real estate transactions, that there are myths and misconceptions associated with retaining the services of a professional home inspector. CREIA presents Part Seven of the continuing series “Myths & Realities about Home Inspections”.
Myth: Only the home buyer should secure the inspection, a home seller doesn’t need to get one.
REALITY: Home sellers are urged to utilize home inspections prior to listing their homes. By securing an inspection prior to placing a home on the market a seller can demonstrate good faith in disclosure, and combat any potential future argument that they were attempting to conceal the condition of the property. A professional “listing inspection” is just good business, it may facilitate a smoother transaction by putting potential buyers at ease, reducing negotiating points, and bypassing annoying or costly delays. However, it is imperative that a seller secures the services of a competent and qualified home inspector. A poor inspection can have a drastic consequence (it could be argued that a poor inspection was recommended for the sole purpose of hiding the true condition of the property).
Myth: A home inspection is not needed in a “sellers’ market”.
REALITY: It is a grave error for anyone to advise against securing an inspection, regardless of market trends or circumstances. Almost every home, whether newly built or a resale property, has unrevealed or unknown defects awaiting discovery by a qualified home inspector. These may include mere functional problems, such as plumbing leaks or a deteriorated roof, or could be major safety issues inside the electric panel or within the furnace. Anyone who recommends against home inspections is not looking out for the best interests of the parties involved. Where a buyer (or seller) unwisely elects not to secure the services of a home inspector, responsible brokers and agents (to protect themselves in the event of a legal dispute) will require a waiver be signed acknowledging that an inspection was recommended and declined, against the professional advice of the real estate licensee.
Make sure you retain the services of a qualified inspector who is trained and experienced in home inspection. It is also very important that your inspector be a member of a professional association such as CREIA to ensure qualifications and continued education. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection profession and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed and maintained by the Association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a written test of property systems and complete 30 hours of education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances that affect property inspection and the business of real estate inspection.
CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you click here or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443.