Residential Resale FAQ

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Q. What is a resale report?

A resale report involves a building permit records check. Those permits are listed on the report and any permits which are not complete or have expired are identified, (These are required to be followed up on.) a physical inspection of the property, including all accessory buildings, and structures. The report can only be requested by the seller or an agent acting on behalf of the seller and a copy of the report is required to be provided to the buyer, who signs a statement verifying receipt.

Q. When do I need a Resale report?

A resale report is required when any residential property changes ownership. This includes single family homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, and unimproved lots located within residential zoning.

 Q. What does a resale report involve?

    1. Application and payment of fee.

    2. Building permit records search

    3. Physical inspection—Performed by a Code Enforcement Officer

    4. Written report

    5. Potential follow-up for serious violations or unpermitted work

Q. How do I order a resale inspection on a residential property?

We offer three options:

At the Community Development Department located at 922 Machin Avenue, between 9 am and 5 pm. Your appointment will be scheduled then and there; or

By mail with a check for payment and we'll call you to schedule when we receive it; or

Online by clicking here. Staff will contact you within 48 business hours to schedule the appointment. This option is not available if there are additional dwellings involved. It is only for condos and single-family dwellings.

Q. Who can order a resale inspection on a residential property?

Only the seller or the agent representing the seller (listing agent). The buyer, or buyer's agent may not order the inspection.At no time, can a buyer or buyers agent schedule the inspection. 

If the application and payment are submitted by mail with a check, the check must be from the owner or the licensed agent. 

In the instances of a trust, the person presenting themselves as the Trustee/Executor, must have the court documents stating they have the rights to the property. Please be sure to bring I.D. as verification will be performed.

Q. Are resale reports required everywhere in Marin County?

All the cities and towns in Marin County have ordinances requiring a report. However, the unincorporated areas of MARIN County do not.

Q. When should I obtain a resale report?

A resale report is required to be performed before the close of escrow. It is important to obtain a report as soon in the sale process as possible so a completed report will be available to you in a timely manner. This will allow sufficient time to resolve any identified mandatory issues to be addressed prior to the close of escrow. A resale report can be scheduled at the offices of Community Development, or you can mail in the fee and application, or order online. City staff will contact you to schedule the appointment.

 Q. How long is the resale report valid?

The report is good for one full calendar year as long as the property is in escrow at the anniversary date. No extensions are granted.

Q. How long does it take to receive the completed report?

While our goal is to provide the report as quickly as possible after the inspection, the city has up to 10 working days to complete the report.

 Q. Who must be present for the inspection?

Only the seller, the agent representing the seller, OR a person 18 years of age or older with the legal right to be there can grant access. The inspection can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes.

 Q. What are the things the inspector will be looking for?

The primary purpose of the inspection is to identify any life/safety or sanitation issues which may have the potential to cause injury, verify the home/property is to code for the time of construction and to match code for the time of an issued permit. Additionally, we verify any modifications or improvements which may have been made to the home and/or property. Three different areas of the report include:

1. Permit history/Minor description of property. 
2. Mandatory items required to be corrected, but not required to be re-inspected. 
3. Items requiring permits.

How to Prepare for a Resale Inspection

Q. How do I take care of items requiring a permit?

The same procedure as applying for a permit to do work before the fact applies for a permit for work that has been completed without permits. Permit application, permit and investigation fees, and in some cases plans will be required depending on the type of work performed. It is possible removal of wall coverings, flooring, or roof will be required to inspect hidden work and/or an inspection and report from a licensed engineer, architect, or contractor may be required. In some extreme cases, items may be required to be removed completely.

Q. What are the fees associated with the resale?

The fees are $274 for a single family home; $236 for the first unit of a multi-family property and an additional $37 for each unit; $219 for an unimproved property. A multi-family property is defined as one of three or more units. Resale Fee for a duplex would be $274, plus $37.

Q. How will I receive the report?

At the time a resale is scheduled, the seller or agent acting for the seller can chose to either have the report mailed, emailed, or placed in will call to be picked up. City staff will notify the applicant by phone  or email when the report is ready for will calls.

Q. Does the resale report hold up the sale of a property?

The City does not have the authority to hold up the sale of a property. However, if the property is conveyed, any required outstanding actions, permits, and fees will become the legal responsibility of the buyer.

Q. Are there any exceptions for a “Short Sale”?

No

Q. What if I need to cancel the inspection? Decide not to sell?

Dependant on the time of cancellation, a partial refund can be made. Please check Fee Schedule: Community Development Department/Public Works Department Schedule of Flat  Fees & Minimum Deposits for Cost Based Fees.

Q. How do I dispute the findings of the resale report?

Please complete and submit this form.

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