REALTORS® Alliance Fights Point-Of-Sale Inspection Ordinances
For decades, many local governments in southeastern Pennsylvania have had ordinances requiring point-of-sale inspections for residential real estate. The Suburban REALTORS® Alliance, a subsidiary corporation of the Bucks County Association of REALTORS®, Montgomery County Association of REALTORS®, and the Suburban West REALTORS® Association, has mounted a campaign to eliminate these ordinances.
According to Jamie Ridge, CEO of the REALTORS® Alliance, the municipal inspection ordinances typically require sellers of a property to pay for an inspection prior to the property’s sale. Many of these ordinances also require the seller to bear the costs of remediating any code violations uncovered during the inspection. Often, the cost of repairs is high, especially if repairs must be made to expensive items such as sidewalks and heating systems. Sellers who cannot negotiate with buyers over who is responsible for paying for the required repairs may be financially unable to sell their homes.
In addition, some buyers may act on the belief that they are protected by the municipal inspection and so they forego having their own private inspection done. However, a buyer may be unaware of serious issues that were not part of the municipal inspection.
The REALTORS® Alliance is working to ensure that the process of home inspection and repairs is a matter to be freely negotiated between the buyer and the seller. The enactment of point-of-sale ordinances in Franconia Township and Royersford Borough were averted. In both of those communities, the Alliance reached out to the community and informed it about the effects of the proposed ordinance. In Royersford Borough, community members made numerous calls to the Borough offices, objecting to the ordinance; and they appeared at the Council meeting where the proposed ordinance was on the agenda. In Franconia, more than 100 community members called the Township offices, objecting to the proposed ordinance.
The website for the campaign against point-of-sale mandates can be found at www.thisdoesntmakesense.org.
The Suburban REALTORS® Alliance continues to protect homeowners’ rights by working with state and local governments, elected officials, community groups and members of local communities.