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Diana Clark, Real Estate Pro in Friday Harbor, WA

Real estate inspections and Buyers and Sellers.

Asked by Diana Clark, Friday Harbor, WA Mon Jun 21, 2010

As a Realtor, I am curious how other agents handle the inspection. If you represent Buyers, do you encourage them to attend? Do you attend? If you are the listing agent to you advise your Seller to be present?

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BEST ANSWER
Without doubt the buyer should be there. Most inspectors offer advice on home maintenance items, too - not just point out deficiencies. Buyers often have questions, and what better source for answers than their inspector.

In my area, it is expected that the buyer's agent will be present.
Some listing agents come by to see how things are going, but it's not common.

The sellers may or may not be home. I don't ask them to pack up, and move out for the several hours needed for the inspection, but I find most of them don't want to be home.

On a few occasions when the seller stayed home, it actually turned out to be a good thing. Once, the inspector didn't know how to turn on the garbage disposal, and thought it was broken - fortunately, the seller showed him what to do (all home inspectors are NOT created equal!).
On another occasion, the seller was able to explain some other items that were found during the inspection. All of the above, of course, would have been handled and cleared up after the inspection, had the sellers not been home. Most choose to leave, and that's what I advise them to do.

Have a great day!
Debbie Rose
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
I insist that my buyers be at the inspection since it is going to be their house and the need to see and understand the condition of the home and its components. Good inspectors offer advice on manintenance issues. If there are issues that arise they need to see and hear the explanation first had from the inspector. Often minor things can get blown out of proportion because the buyer was not at the inspection and did not fully understand what the inspector found. As for the seller, I prefer they are at least around so questions about the house can be answered.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 21, 2010
Yes, I always recommend my buyers attend, and yes, I'm always present as well, so if there are any issues, I know first hand what the inspector is talking about. I also contact the listing agent in advance, and advise that the sellers not be on-site, so that my buyers can go through the home without interruptions. Furthermore, as a listing agent, I ask that my sellers not be present, for the same reason. :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 20, 2010
I always want my buyers there - I tell them it is the start of the history of their ownership. I never want sellers there. As for agents, here in the NWMLS area one must be present - inspectors do not have key access. As a buyer's agent I always attend.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
I advise buyers to be there for most of the inspections, but to stay out of the inspector's way and get a re-cap from the inspector only after he's done. I prefer not to have the seller there if I'm listing the property, as I don't want them to say something in the presence of the buyer that might be misunderstood or to start discussing points that have already been negotiated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
iF YOU REPRESENT BUYERS YOU SHOULD DEFINATELY HAVE THE BUYERS AND YOURSELF THERE, SHOULD ANY PROBLEMS ARISE YOU CAN ADDRESS THEM TO THE LISTING AGENT RIGHT AWAY.iF YOU ARE THE LISTING AGENT I WOULDN'T ADVISE THE SELLER TO BE THERE BECAUSE ITS TOO STRESSFUL FOR THEM. QUESTIONS COULD BE ANSWERED VERY EASILY BY CELL.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 21, 2010
Hi Diana,
I always attend the inspection so that I can know first hand about anything that is found. I also have the buyer attend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 20, 2010
Dear Diana,

Its good to see your smiling face again.

As for home inspections, as a buyer's agent I always encourage my buyers to attend. I usually have to be there as well to let the inspectors into the property. However a NY RE broker I used to work with does not attend the inspections herself since she feels she would be vicariously liable, which makes sense but I usually always attend just to be apprised of any of the results.

Having the seller there can be helpful if there are questions about the plumbing, electrical, well/septic systems, etc. that are not readily ascertainable. As a listing agent though, I usually do not encourage my sellers to be present.

I'd love to hear from you anytime, and wish you well in the meantime.

Sincerely,

Jancy Frost, Realtor
Florida Gulf Coast Property Group
Direct 239-220-0892
Email: JancyFrost@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 20, 2010
We really encourage the potential buyer to be present for inspection. This helps them understand the key points from the report that they will receive later via email. Even with the help of photos, it's hard to describe report details over the phone. I prefer that the sellers are not present. An inspector is hired by the buyer and should be the only person to benefit from the service. I require an agent to be present. Going into someone's house without a representative on site is not something inspectors want to do. Most of the time the agent remains at a distance and is only needed for entry to other areas or specific property questions related to the listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 20, 2010
I always encourage my buyers to be present as well - however, sometimes that is not possible. In those cases, I often will video the important aspects to take to my client. This helps me remember the important issues and gives it directly to the buyer as I heard it - no chance of failed communication.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
PS
In regard to "not being there due to disclosure"............it isn't the responsibility of the agent to paraphrase what the inspector finds - the inspector is being paid to perform a service - presumably he will be provding a written report to the buyers, with all details included.

Especially if the buyer isn't present, I need to be there as a courtesy to the owner, and to "babysit" the house while the inspection is taking place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
I never attend the inspections due to disclosure. If you are told something by the inspector and forget to pass it along to the buyer, you are in a way responsible. The buyer should be there but let the inspector do there job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
I always recommend that the buyer(s) be present during the inspection--nothing replaces firsthand knowledge--as for the sellers--one advises they not be home, and yes, do attend the inspections.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
Well, buyers really should attend, because inspections are educational.

I think the Seller should leave the premises, which means that at least one of the agents should be there, and it probably shouldn't be the listing one.

Hope that helps,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
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