Agent Visual Inspection & Disclosure Forms: Revealing an Essential Real Estate Practice in California


In the complex world of the California real estate market, transparency and diligence are essential. An essential part of this process is the visual inspection and disclosure of key information by real estate agents. In this article, we explore the legal obligation and advantages of using the “Agent Visual Inspection & Disclosure Forms” (Visual Inspection and Agent Disclosure Forms), also known as AVID Forms, as established by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

Legal Obligation: Duty to Inspect and Disclose

When? In the sale of residential properties with between 1 and 4 units housing.

Who? Real estate agents who represent buyers and sellers.


  • They must conduct a competent and diligent visual inspection of the accessible areas of the property offered for sale.
  • They must disclose to the potential buyer material facts and defects that should have been discovered during the inspection.

As? An agent completes the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) and/or AVID form on behalf of the broker.

TDS and AVID Forms

Although the law establishing this obligation did not create a separate form to make the disclosure, there is the “Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement” (TDS Form) which can be used for this purpose. Although the majority of this form refers to the seller's disclosures, sections III and IV can be used for the agent to make his or her disclosures.

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) created the “Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure” (AVID), which can also be used to document the inspection performed by the agent.

Advantages of AVID

AVID offers several advantages over TDS. First, it offers more space for disclosures and per-room sections that guide the agent through the inspection process. If AVID is used, the appropriate box must be checked on the TDS. Another advantage is that the broker's inspection and disclosure obligations apply even when the seller is exempt from completing a TDS form. Using AVID establishes the habit of agents always conducting inspections and disclosures on residential properties with between one and four units, without relying on TDS.

Specific Disclosures

Disclosures made after an inspection should be specific, but not speculative. Agents should identify only what can be seen. They should not guess at causes, degree of danger, costs of corrective activities or use technical terms.

The AVID helps agents make disclosures required by law, while specifying what is outside the scope of their duty. For example, there is no legal obligation to search outside records, inspect common areas or access inaccessible places such as attics or basements, look under furniture or carpets, open locked doors, or climb onto roofs or chimneys.


Agent Visual Inspection & Disclosure Forms are an essential tool in the world of California real estate. By complying with this legal obligation and using AVID, agents contribute to transparency and integrity in the property buying and selling process. The combination of diligence, knowledge and legal compliance forms the foundation of a strong and reliable real estate industry in the state of California.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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