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Steve Rush Article - Seller inspections

Rush, who is president and founder of On-Site Inspections, LLC, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area, has over 17 years experience in home inspections and has performed more than 10,000 inspections. He spoke on the importance of onsite inspections. Rush disclosed the following facts: 96 percent of all lawsuits in the world happen in the U.S.; 25 percent of all Californians with an income over $50,000 will be sued in their lifetime; and every California business may be sued in its lifetime. Highlighting the California Business and Professions Codes 7195-7199, Rush outlined the responsibilities of a home inspector. They include identifying material defects that affect the value, desirability, and safety of a dwelling. Home inspectors should not consider style and aesthetics in determining whether a structure is safe. Rush said home inspectors should not perform any repairs on a property they have inspected within the prior 12 months. Home inspectors should not receive any financial interest, referral fees or kickbacks from their clients; nor should they require anyone to fix anything, place a value on a home, or advise a client whether or not to buy a home. “Home inspectors are not experts, but are generalists,” Rush stated, and then noted, in the state of California home inspectors need not be licensed, but it is important for them to have certification of continuing education hours from the California Real Estate Inspectors Association and from the American Society of Home Inspectors. They should have proof of insurance, education, experience, references, and they need to keep up with new trends and issues, as well, he said. A home inspector’s job, said Rush, requires a certain amount of professionalism and tact, since home inspectors are often caught between the seller, the buyer, and the listing agent.
Rush then focused on the meaning of the term, “as is,” which has been a bone of contention in numerous lawsuits. He said, “These words mean ‘as known, as disclosed, not willing to fix or negotiate repairs.’” “They do not mean ‘don’t disclose,’” Rush warned the brokers.

In a perfect world, Rush said he would like to see home inspectors for both buyers and sellers, “so if both miss something, the problem probably wasn’t there.” He encourages sellers to have their homes inspected before listing them because it would maximize offers, minimize contingencies and shorten the contingency removal period. This way, said Rush, “there are no deal-killing surprises.” The Bay Area home inspector said the practice of sellers having their home inspected before listing their home is becoming more common in San Mateo County because it minimizes any chances of a “blown transaction” and relieves the emotional attachment and stress for the seller. Rush indicated because of a change in market conditions, the practice makes a better presentation package and can be used as the seller’s “fix-it” list, giving the seller the option to repair or replace items noted by the home inspector.
“It’s an ‘absolute must’ for ‘as is’-only transactions since it minimizes negotiations, eliminates surprises and reduces liability risk for all parties,” Rush urged. “It’s good for the buyer because the buyer knows the home has been inspected and he or she is likely to pay a higher price because of it, and get a better sense of the market value of the home right away.”

Submitted by SteveRush on Sun, 03/08/2009 - 21:14.
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