Mo Davis, Real Estate Pro in Lanham, MD

How do you handle home inspections, do you attend them with your Buyer-client?

Asked by Mo Davis, Lanham, MD Sun Oct 7, 2012

I recently found a good company that doesn't require the buyer or the Realtor to be present for the home inspection. The client can pay by phone with their credit/debit cars and the inspectors usually send the report the next day by email or fax.

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I always arrive at the start of the inspection to ensure the inspector gets started with no issues, such as not being able to access the home based on a removed lockbox, etc. Once the inspector gets started, I leave and return toward the end of the inspection, which is when I ask the buyer to be present; at this point, the buyer is briefed by the inspector on the outcome and answers any questions the buyer may have. Finally, the buyer receives a full report the next morning at the latest.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I always attend home inspections. That is a must so that you can hear first hand of all the exception items that may or maynot be a potential closing problem. Always invest the time in attending these and leave nothing to chance by being absent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2012
Hello Monique,

I always attend the inspection with my buyer. I find it to be another chance to bond with them, as well as a chance for me to learn a thing or two.

Kawain Payne, Realtor ®
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2012
I don't think there is any other option besides being there the entire time with the buyer. How do you or the buyer know the inspection was actually done? And if the home is vacant, then there really is no proof that he/she was there. They are paying $300-$500 for this, so I don't know why the buyer wouldn't want to be there. Also, as a Realtor, we can't let people go into listings unaccompanied. Even if it is an inspector, you could still be held liable if they cause any damage. What's the point of being a Realtor if you can just hand out lockbox codes?

Bring something to do while the inspection is being done, but you and the buyer should be there start to finish.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
bravo - I agree
Flag Tue Oct 9, 2012
Great question!

Yes, I attend buyers’ inspections for varied reasons. First, I think it’s important that clients know that you are there to support them in the entire homebuying process. This means, your job is not limited to solely showing houses/condos. While it may be time consuming, attending the inspection lets the buyer know that you are not just worried about making a commission, but that you also care about what’s going on with their future home.

Second, I think attending the home inspection allows the agent to better articulate issues that need to be addressed should anything arise during the assessment. You will understand what the problem is and what your client expects it to be resolved.

I also think it’s important to encourage re-inspections if issues were identified during the first inspection. While some items may be minor, it’s best to have an expert confirm that work has been satisfactorily completed. While it may cost them a few hundred dollars, it’s better to pay upfront and know that the work is right, versus finding problems after they've moved in.

Attending inspections is definitely an added value as an agent. You want your clients to remember you (and refer you to others) because you went beyond the call of duty. Attending inspections may not be a requirement for regular agents, but it is for great agents.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Just why would you use a company that does not require the buyer or agents to be present for the home inspection?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I like to be there from beginning to the end. I also encourage my buyers to be there. The inspector I use is great at giving home care tips and just making sure the buyers know how to operate their new systems. I've never had a buyer miss an inspection. I may have to run out but I know I'm leaving them in great hands.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 2, 2012
Hi Monique,

Wow, i neve knew about this. It sounds good but I have to agree that i like to be there in person. i have attend all my buyers home inspections because it is a great time to ask questions, especially for a first time home buyer.

i just recently completed one with my first time buyer and there was a spot on the wall that appeared to be just some dirt and it turned out to be mold. i believe it is imperative for the buyer to be there so they can get to know the good and bad of a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 2, 2012
I come for the beginning and come back for the report.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Not only do I attend, I make sure that my buyer chooses an inspector who will patiently take them through the home explaining systems and what they will need to do to maintain their new home. This goes a long way to helping keep my buyers informed and happy with their purchase.

I also want to be able to ascertain what items are a must to fight for and which I can concede on to seal the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Always attend and stay the entire time, though I usually bring something along to do so I'm not looking over the inspector's shoulder. Although photos tell a good story in the report, I prefer that the inspector show me and/or the client the problems found so the buyer can make a decision regarding who should fix the problem - or if it's a deal breaker.
I agree with Debbie Rose, I don't want to be responsible for strangers in the home and will stick around for that purpose, too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
just a quick question to (buyer's) agents who commented that they "let the inspector in and leave..then "come back, etc".

The sellers are ok with a stranger (ie - the inspector) being left in their home alone?

Or, if the seller is home - they're ok with having this stranger roam around their home with no one else present?

I guess expectations are way different in my that scenario would not happen here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
I may not always be there for the entire inspection but definitely am there to open up the door and arrive toward the end for the wrap-up. However, I do try to make a point of being at all of my Buyers' inspections but not at my Sellers as I believe that is the time for the Buyers to be with there agent and the inspector to openly discuss any and all concerns that may arise.

I encourage my Buyers to be present as well as it is a great time to ask specific questions / address concerns with the inspector.

I always receive the report at the end of the inspection and given how tight the timelines may be sometimes especially if additionally inspections are necessary as a result of the home inspection I would not be at all comfortable with "usually send the report the next day by email or fax".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Maybe you mis-interpreted the intent of the inspection company. Maybe they - - "the good company" are just saying that in the event the buyer (or the REALTOR) can't be or chooses not to be at the inspection they will take payment by credit card over the phone rather than the usual - - in person at the end of the inspection.

I attend every inspection whether I am representing the buyer or the seller. And, unless my buyers cannot be in town they are there as well. And, that's thse way it should be for all the reasons given in the answers below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I'm going to have to go with the consensus here:

Its always a good business practice and a matter of courtesy to be present at home inspections--especially if the prospective buyer(s) plan on being there.

It would behoove the buyer(s) to know exactly what he/she/they are getting themselves into. They'll also have an opportunity to ask questions and get immediate answers.

Home inspectors (especially the highly experienced variety) are a fountain of knowledge for those of us that don't know the A to Z of construction and maintenance. I've always walked away learning a thing or two (or 10).

Little things like accompanying them at the inspection are going to resonate in your client's mind whenever he or she is asked in the future to recommend an agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012

by the way - I don't know of any insp[ection company that REQUIRES the buyer to be present - it's just better/good business if they are present..............and, the buyer can always pay via credit card......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Isnt it part of the buyer's agent's job to be present during the inspection?
I think it is......

Shouldn't the buyers be there to ask questions and have things explained to them during the inspection?
I think they should...........

Isn't it a courtesy to the owner to be present while someone (a stranger - the inspector) goes through their home from top to bottom?
I think it is..........

I wouldn't allow an inspector to be alone in a vacant house even if my buyers couldn't attend.

For the record - one time as I checked a home following an inspection before locking up...... I noticed the inspector inadvertently left the oven on, set at 400 degrees!
Things happen........

Why would an agent look to find a way not attend an inspection....or have their buyer not attend?

Maybe I am missing something, but I don;t get it...or the question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
HI Monique,

I feel the buyer and their Realtor should be present for the home inspection. This way, the inspector can physically show the buyer and their Realtor items of concern (if there are any).

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012

Good evening. With my experience of working with buyers, I would be concerned about a company that doesn't require or welcomes the buyer and/or realtor to be present for the home inspection. The buyer, if anyone, should be there. This is a time when the inspector can provide the buyer with a visual explanation of the aspects of the home that's being purchased, and if there are any defects, the inspector can let the buyer know immediately. Also, you get to see the service you have paid for at work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Being at the home inspection is very different than reading a report. When I'm representing a buyer in a transaction, I always attend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Hi Monique

Always. I can'[t imagine any buyer or agent purposely choosing not be present at a home inspection on a purchase property. It is a great opportunity to learn about the property from an objective source. More importantly, if there are any problems that arise, they can ask the inspector immediately and find if it's serious.

Best of Luck,

Barbara Grandolfo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I always attend them. I would not be happy if my buyers didn't attend the inspections.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
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