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Santa Barbara Association of Realtors Sues City?

October 20th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Disclosure, Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors, Zoning Information Reports

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors has decided to sue the City of Santa Barbara over it’s Zoning Information Report that’s required when a property is sold. The report has been a thorn in the SBAOR for a while. Personally, I do not agree with the Association’s position. Throughout the State of California these reports, often referred to as “Resale Inspections,” are required by most towns and cities in the state. Also real estate agents are suppose to  disclose “anything that might affect one’s perception of value” which has long been a part of the disclosure process when selling a home. So, why is this a problem?

Even though these reports can sometimes can be problematic, and have caused transactions to fall apart, the intent is to provide essential information to a prospective buyer regarding permits, and safety considerations. I believe construction of any structure, additions, or remodeling done without a permit where required should be disclosed.  Also, any safety considerations should be noted too. I also believe the City should work with Sellers if previous City inspections did not reveal or missed any issues when they acquired the property that are now a problem. For real estate agents, it would seem, the Zoning Information Report should be ordered prior to taking a listing. This way many of the problems that these reports come up with can be addressed before marketing the property.  It may be the most important inspection the buyer has.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Friesa Jalama

    The purpose of the inspections is not to protect the buyer or the seller. If it was, the inspector would have professional qualifications as a home inspector – which they do not. Qualified as no more than zoning inspectors the intent of the inspections is to search private property to ascertain property valuation and regulatory compliance for the benefit of the city tax authorities. That *should* require a search warrant, which *is* a protection for the buyer and seller and which can not be over-ridden by municipal code.

    • Mark Lomas

      Hi Friesa,
      Great insight, and if that’s true, it’s not being properly reported by the media. The ascertaining property valuation for the tax tax authorities would clearly be a violation. The other aspects of the inspection seem fine to me. Most every town and city in California have similar inspections that are called Resale Inspections. SB should modify the component you’ve brought up if not just delete it from the process. Thanks for your reply!

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