Direct: 707-374-6491
Fax: 707-374-6866

Sam Richards GRI, Broker/Owner

BRE License #01305588    


                                   August 20, 2014


Q. I'm paying cash for a house, but I am getting inspections on the roof, house, fireplace, well, and a pest inspection. We have agreed on a sales price with the seller, but, does that preclude me from asking for repairs or cash for things I find wrong? P.H. Rio Vista

A. A lot could depend on the entirety of the purchase agreement and how it is written. On page 2, there are boxes to check for inspections you want done and who is going to pay for the cost of those inspections. Seeing this, a seller might surmise that he could be asked to catch up some deferred maintenance. If you didn?t disclose that you are doing inspections, the seller could presume you are doing this for your own information, and the agreed price is what he can expect.

When the purchase agreement is written, it defers to being an "as-is" sale by the language on page 4, paragraph 9, stating the property is to be sold in its current state. Any deviation from that agreement has to be in writing and agreed to by buyer and seller; such as a repair order for discovered problems during an inspection.

A pest inspection is handled separately, with repairs by the seller defined as related to that report; A Pest Report will have issues found identified in 2 categories, section 1 and section 2. Section 1 will have wood rot, wood fungus, water leaks, and termites and/or wood boring beetles, and if any of these are discovered, it is expected the seller will pay. Section 2 would represent an area that needs paint, or maybe bushes too close to the house, minor cosmetic issues that are usually handled by the buyer.

From the time your offer is accepted by the seller, you have 17 days to complete inspections and review the reports. If, during those 17 days, you ask for repairs and the seller refuses, you could quit and get your deposit back. That is rarely the case; these things are usually negotiated.

If, however, you hand the reports to the seller and say fix everything, then you are using inspections as a "price grinder". I've seen buyers get away with this, but mostly sellers will try to negotiate health and welfare issues to be repaired, leaving cosmetic upgrades to the buyer. If a home has a lot of deferred maintenance, it needs to be priced accordingly, or the seller needs to do the repairs.

I believe in inspections, and all buyers should do them; often issues are brought to light that the seller was not aware of.

Q. I have a 1 year lease, but my landlord has uncovered some things on my application, after I have moved in, and is now saying that since I lied on the application that the lease is not valid. I've taken possession, doesn't that validate the lease? M.M. Walnut Grove

A. You have to have possession before a lease is enforceable, but if the document is the California Association of Realtors Residential Lease agreement, your landlord may be right. On page 5, paragraph 38A, the language reads "Landlord may cancel this agreement (iii) at any time, upon discovering that information in the tenant's application is false". That also applies to random credit checks if your score falls below acceptable limits. This action could be taken anywhere during your lease, and if asked to move and you don't, a court Writ can be obtained to get a Sheriffs eviction.

I know your mother told you to tell the truth!

Send your inquires to 

           or visit



Send your inquires to


































 © 2014 Agent Image All rights reserved. | Terms | Sitemap Design by Agent Image - Real Estate Web Site Design