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The early 70′s saw the creation of a new industry within the real estate field as home buyers began hiring general building contractors to perform pre-purchase inspections on intended home purchases. As this burgeoning home inspection industry grew, it soon became apparent that the depth of knowledge necessary to adequately evaluate a home's systems and components was beyond the capacity of most general contractors.
Gradually, the term, "Contractors Inspection" was dropped in favor of "Home Inspection" as qualified inspectors came to be looked upon as industry "experts" performing inspections to confirm the current condition of a home's general overall condition. By the 1990′s, due to California real estate law, increasing consumer awareness, coupled with Realtor's marketing, pre-purchase Home Inspections became commonplace.
The majority of homes sold in today's market are now inspected. Locating and scheduling home inspectors has generally been in the realm of the agent representing the buyer. However, as a result of public awareness programs and an increased Internet presence sponsored by inspectors and associations, more home buyers have begun seeking qualified inspectors on their own. Additionally, home sellers are increasingly seeking out the services of professional Home Inspectors at the time of (or prior to) the listing of their property to ease the transaction process.
In the early days of the home inspection profession, some real estate brokers and their agents may have felt threatened by the industry. Eventually the real estate community came to understand and appreciate that a professional inspection was far superior to having a simple "walk through" performed by someone with only a general construction background.
The savvy and more experienced real estate agents soon recognized that a professionally performed property inspection was not only a smart marketing tool, but could help shield them from potential litigation after the close of escrow. The famous Easton vs. Strassberger court decision changed this supposition from theory to fact.
This landmark case occurred in 1984, when the court held that the duties of a real estate broker include "the affirmative duty to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent inspection of the residential property listed for sale and to disclose to prospective purchasers all facts materially effecting the value of the property that such investigation would reveal."
Real estate brokers and their agents immediately recognized that it would be prudent to refer to independent experts to provide a far more complete and thorough inspection than they were capable of furnishing. They also recognized the opportunity to share potential disclosure liability by introducing another player into the sales transaction.
This resulted in a significant increase in homes being inspected by professional inspectors before the close of escrow.
By 2002 more than 14,000 home inspectors have entered the profession nationwide and approximately 1,800 professional inspectors are working full or part-time in the state of California. The inspection business continues to grow. A professional, independent home inspection has become widely recommended by real estate authors and columnists.
Inspections are gaining popularity on new homes as well as resale properties. Today, buyers, sellers, real estate agents, attorneys, banks, and relocation companies are seeking professional inspectors in an attempt to help meet disclosure requirements.
Phone: 925-398-3950View Profile