Why do real estate agents do a visual inspection of the properties they sell?

What is the agent visual inspection, or AVID, and why is it required with home sales in California?

The short answer on the purpose of the AVID

When real estate sales people represent buyers and sellers on residential real estate transactions in CA, they must do a visual inspection of the property as part of their disclosure obligations. In other words, they are required to walk through the property, inside and out, and look carefully at what they sell and advise the parties to the contract of any red flags noticed.

This is required by the state. It is not optional.

If an attentive Realtor walks through and notes something that would make a buyer unhappy to discover after close of escrow, that agent needs to note it on the required form so that any such concerns are disclosed to the home buyer(s).

Video discussing the AVID, or Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure

 

Where do the agents write up their visual inspection disclosure comments?

 

Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure, top of page 1

Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure, top of page 1

 

Sometimes the real estate licensees will simply make a few comments on page 3 of the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).  More and more, though, they are completing the separate 3 page AVID (Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure) form instead.  It is larger and allows for more thorough list of items noted. Both approaches are permitted by law to fulfill that obligation, though.

 

Why is the AVID required?

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Realtors are for informed guidance, not order taking

May take your order pleaeIf you go to a fast food restaurant, you probably don’t need an advisor to help you to decide what you may want to eat. In many cases, it would be wise if you’d consult the nutrition information chart – if it’s readily available – but aside from that, how much help do you need?

Similarly with plane reservations, you most likely don’t need a lot of help in figuring out what flight to book. There are some nuances, though – perhaps one airline has all kinds of hidden fees for luggage, food, and hey, maybe they even want to charge you to use the restroom! Perhaps some have much better “ontime arrival” statistics or fewer lost luggage complaints. Overall, though, you don’t need an advisor most of the time.

Real estate, though, is a complicated process. It’s not like buying a seat on a plane or an ready-made meal at a fast food joint.

The mistake that some consumers make, and that I see once in awhile, is in assuming that they know as much as a seasoned real estate professional, and that input from a Realtor is of little or no value.  This happens with both home sellers and home buyers at times.  Luckily it’s not too common.

Most of the time, Silicon Valley Realtors have a great desire to help buyers and sellers by sharing their experience, insight, and wisdom.  We don’t just “take orders” and fill out listing agreements or contracts if we are full time and full service.  We are able to offer you guidance.  That’s what an agent is – a fiduciary, someone who cares for you and your interests and puts them ahead of the real estate licensee’s own position or interest (i.e., paycheck). (more…)