There is no legal obligation for a seller to have their home inspected; however, to minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, it is sensible to learn as much as you can about your home before you list it. A Pre-listing inspection may identify the need for repairs, builder oversights or simple maintenance that will bring it into good shape. The knowledge you gain from a Pre-listing inspection will allow you to make decisions with confidence before you place your home on the market.

A professional inspection provides a seller with an opportunity to repair any defects that are uncovered prior to placing their home on the market. In addition, it may forewarn them of potential concerns. A seller can use this information to help put prospective buyers at ease, reduce negotiating points and avoid delays, and in so doing facilitate a smoother transaction.

An inspection should include an examination of the major components and systems of a home, including safety-related issues. Some inspections also include pools and spas. Because of normal wear-and-tear, and other factors such as diverse construction practices, a professional home inspection can help provide a wealth of information to a seller.

A safety-related issue is something that could affect the health, safety or well being of a visitor or occupant of a property.

No. A professional inspector is providing an independent, objective opinion on the current condition of a home. He simply describes its condition, and points out potential safety-related issues and items that need, or may soon need repair or replacement.

In California, a seller of a single-family dwelling, or of 1 to 4 units, has a duty to disclose relevant facts concerning the property for sale. This is done through a form known as a Transfer Document Statement ("TDS"). Put simply, a seller has a legal obligation to reveal to perspective buyers adverse conditions of the property known or that should have reasonably been known to them. While a Pre-listing Inspection report cannot be used as a substitute for the TDS form, it does allow a seller to provide prospective buyers with additional information that is based on the opinion of an unbiased, third party.

At times, a professional inspection will reveal something that does not comply with code, but it was approved by the local building authority. City building inspectors are often pressed for time and because of this, they may occasionally overlook something. Also, like all human beings, sometimes they simply make mistakes. Building officials recognize this, and therefore the codes provide that any such approval is not valid. Unfortunately, being built with permit and approved by the City building inspector doesn't always mean that it complies with code.

Except as required by local and state regulations, or stipulated in the purchase contract, a seller is not obligated to make any repairs. A professional Pre-listing inspection will help inform a seller of defects that a potential buyer may request be fixed after the buyer's inspector examines the property. Such requests, however, are often negotiated. To help facilitate the sale, a seller can be preemptive and decide to make some repairs prior to listing their home, but this is a matter of choice.

No. In California, there is no professional license for home inspectors. If an inspector represents that they are licensed, you should have them clarify this. If you believe they were intentionally misleading, you should seek another inspector.