My Life as a San Francisco Realtor: Before Selling Your Home in San Francisco - Get a 3R Report

Before Selling Your Home in San Francisco - Get a 3R Report

A 3R Report, or Report of Residential Building Record, is required for the Sale of any residential building in San Francisco.  Your Realtor will make sure this is included in your Disclosure documents as required. The information found on a 3R Report is taken from the Department of Building Inspection microfilm records. And although useful, there is no guarantee that all the information is accurate.

I have seen cases where the number of dwelling units was incorrect, missing permits, and even 'unknown' occupancy type and even missing original occupancy permit dates. There have been times when I've had to go to the Water Department for records on the original water hookup dates, circa 1925, to verify occupancy was approved.

The buyer should verify any critical issues, such as number of permitted units or zoning with a qualified construction professional, such as an Architect.

What is in a 3R Report?

·        Building Address

·        Block and Lot number (APN)

·        Present authorized occupancy or use

·        If it is classified as a condominium

·        Zoning district

·        Building Code Occupancy Classification

·        Expiration date for non-conforming use

·        Building Construction Date

·        Original Occupancy or use

·        Building Permit application history and status

·        If Franchise Tax Board Lien

·        Any Abatement Cases on the property

·        Number of Residential structures on the lot

·        If Energy Inspection has been done and proof of compliance Issued

How much does it cost?

This report used to cost $50, but then it took the City about a month to pull it together. A few years ago the price was raised to $160, and we can get the report in a week to 10 days.


Where can I see what's on an Application?

From the Department of Building Inspection's web site HERE.


John M Scott, Broker / Owner, Scott Keys Properties, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), serving San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area

Comment balloon 4 commentsJohn M. Scott • July 04 2011 06:34PM


Sounds very comprehensive John. We don't have a similar report in Livermore, but we do have a required disclosure for sellers - a bullding record showing any permits pulled on the property. That quickly answers questions that buyers have when the see an addition to the original house, or major updates. This is probably very important in your area since with so many older buildings.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Karen, every city seems to do something different. San Francisco and Daly City both have 3R Reports. South San Francisco requires an inspection by the fire department - anything not up to code or on record has to be fixed. Novato's building department does an inspection comparing current conditions to what they have on record.

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) over 7 years ago

Hi John what a great report..We have nothing like that here in Wisconsin

Posted by Tim Peterson, Realtor Safety Training Classes (Wisconsin Realtor Safety and Concealed Carry Classes) over 7 years ago

Hi Tim, good to hear from another Wisconsinite. I grew up there. My brother and his wife worked in Madison for many years - the are now retired in Sauk City.

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) over 7 years ago