Home Buying in Watertown>Question Details

Grint, Home Buyer in Watertown, MA

Does the buyer's agent need to be present at home inspection to recieve their portion of commission from seller's agent?

Asked by Grint, Watertown, MA Thu Dec 16, 2010

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It seems you were upset that the agent who is representing you wasn't there looking out for your best interest. I can see your point there, unfortunately it does not mean the agents doesn't "deserve" or "shouldn't" get paid. The home inspection is a big part of the transaction doen't get me wrong, but the report will come, and you just want to go through the report with your agent since the agent "knows" more than you. Don't be upset, things happen. I am sure any issue that arrises from the report your agent will work hard to work out the best solution for you moving forward.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
Case Law reveals Real Estate Brokers are not qualified to conduct a home inspection. Brokers are not licensed or trained in home inspections and do not possess a business license to conduct one. Real Estate Brokers in the eyes of the courts are not qualified to advise on home Inspections. Only Professionals licensed and insured in they're respective fields are seen in the eyes of the courts as qualified to advise within there respective field of expertise. So Qualified Home Inspector then if required qualified contractor specializing in the particular need. Roofer, Plumber, Electrical, Structural etc.
Flag Thu May 14, 2015
A most interesting question....one I can't help wondering what lies beneath the surface??

Any thoughts?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 15, 2012
Seems there is a big point being missed here! Despite the fact that a buyer agent has a fiduciary responsibility to their buyer in all matters, why would nay agent allow their buyer to be in another persons home without an agent being present?! The inspector may have access to the lock box but that does not give the buyer the right to be there unaccompanied.

Depending on your local MLS board, this may be a violation of the rules & regs or code of ethics. If the agent can not attend, they have a duty to have another agent in their office be there

More & more it seems we see some lazy agents lacking in common sense & professionalism pactice real estate their way without regard to the public & other Realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 15, 2012

The agent below is correct as the inspection is done by a licensed inspector in MA, but I would sit down with my agent and find out what is going on. If I cannot make an inspection for my buyer client I make sure to send a representative. It is not as critical for the selling agent, but I feel the buyer broker should be there, but ultimately it does not effect their pay check. Best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 19, 2010
To answer your question, No the Agent does not have to be there at the inspection to receive commission.

However, this is a questions that all Buyers should be asking their Agent.

Will they will be attending the home inspection and if this is part of their business practice?

A good Agent will be answering, YES!

I personally, always attend. I think it's part of what we get paid to do. We are supposed to be representing our clients best interest.

I understand however, there are times when we can have emergency conflicts that have to be remedied and you can't be in 2 places at once.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
It is a good practice. Depending on the condition of the home and the experience of the buyer, it is not always neccesary. Some buyers need hand holding all through the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
I do attend the home inspection whether I represent the buyer or seller. However the inspectors I recommend it is not necessary to be there. Many buyers are relo and may not be able to attend, also things do come up that the buyers agent can not attend either. A good home inspection should identify all the problems and a good home inspector takes plenty of pictures identifing all the problems. That way a seller or buyer accross the world can review the report and there will not be any issues that one can not see. How many times have you had a seller say based on a written report without pictures, I never saw it before, or I'm unaware of it. PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES if you need a good home inspector let me know.
Web Reference: http://www.LouisWolfson.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
No, the agent does not have to be present to earn the commission. However, a good agent will be present there because agent would like to know if there is a problem discovered during the home inspection. The buyers agent will have to include the problem items as part of negotiations.So it is best that buyer's agent is present there to be able to explain the issues discovered during home inspection to listing agent and the clients. It also helps the agent to complete AVID (agent visual inspection desclosure).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
No. However, I believe that the Buyer Agent should represent the buyer during the home inspection. Typically a question or concern will arise during the inspection that the home inspector cannot answer. Also, the Buyer Agent is the one who negotiates the home inspection items with the listing agent. It would be difficult to explain these issues to the listing agent without attending the inspection. Therefore, it is always best to have a Buyer Agent present and if the agent is unable to attend someone from their office should represent the home buyer.
Web Reference: http://www.billtammaro.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
The agent does not have to be there to earn their portion of the commission.

The more important question is did your agent review the inspection report with you. Did he/she give you any direction or recommendations as to how to proceed and what needed to be addressed based on the inpection.

If they did not then you may have recourse depending on what you signed with your buyer agent and the expectations you both had agreed to.
Web Reference: http://www.LouisWolfson.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
I always attend the inspection. If your agent is too busy, the should have another agent to attend on their behalf.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
A Buyer Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to represent their Client, the Buyer. Comprehensive due diligence on behalf of the Buyer means the Buyer Agent should certainly be present at the home inspection. That said, there is no legal responsibilty to attend a home inspection in order to secure commission from a real estate transaction. http://www.TuttleTeam.com
Web Reference: http://www.TuttleTeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
The buyer's agent should want to be present at the home inspection; but it is not mandatory.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Is there any Florida SS that requies a sellers agent to be present during the inspection. If so, what SS # governs this. Thank you
Flag Sun Nov 17, 2013
I always attend the inspection . A buyer's agent helps the buyer find a property , do the comps and negotiate the terms and price. The agent will advice you to get an inspection and to use qualified inspectors.When you get the report they will negotiate further so you can either ask the seller for credit or to do the repairs or help you get out of the contract based on contigency. I always attend the inspection so I know what the areas of concern are and to be able to get the information from the inspector and this way I can ask questions.
I do not know if you are asking a legal question,t hen you need to ask an attorney in your state. If you request the agent to be there I am sure the agent will be there.I go for inspections even if I am the listing agent so that I can tell the sellers about the inspection.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010

There are two different topics in your question, representation and commission. Buyer agent doesn't need to be there to get paid. BUT!, my concern is that how could a buyer agent will be able to represent a buyer, if he is not there during the inspection. There will be things buyer will need the seller to fix and repair, right? More eyes are better at inspection, even you think the inspector is the expert, but your concern is the most important. If you really want you agent to be there make sure you ask him to be there, tell him how you feel, that it is important to you to have a buyer agent there.
Web Reference: http://www.inbostonnow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
I agree that it is important that a buyer's agent attend their buyer/client's home inspection. It does not affect commission but it does effect your over all customer service. There may be a scheduling conflict with your agent but if they have tried to work around it to no avail they should at least have another knowledgeable agent from their office attend the inspection with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Good question ... it's important to know that there is no "absolute" connection (situation dependent) between representation and compensation. These rules of conduct and duty are defined in the MLS, Realtor code of ethics and broker policy (if/ when disclosed). My bigger concern would be access - many listing brokers do not attend home inspection, you may not be able to access the property without an agent present.. If you have representation, the listing broker may require that person to accompany you at the home inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Technically no- Bigger question is how can you represent your client if you are not there for the home inspection?

As a buyer's agent you are doing your client a disservice by not being at the inspection or have someone in your office you trust covering you at the inspection if you can't be there. As a buyer's agent I believe it is your duty to be there and guide your client through the process.

Also, who is responsible for letting the home inspector in with the buyers and who is responsible for the security of the house? I think it is presumptive that the listing agent should do your work for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
there is no legal obligation that says that the buyer's agent must be present at the inspection in order to receive their commission. And I'm curious why you ask such a pointed question.

I've had buyer's agents who have "earned" their commission simply by introducing their client to the house, and then disappearing for the balance of the transaction. Clearly, that's not optimal, but unfortunately, it's possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
No it is not requirement however it is certainly not good customer service. If you have not performed
the inspection as of yet I would let your agent know that you would like them to attend. Conflicts
of an agents time do happen so if it is important to you that they be there you'll need to communicate
this to them and possibly look at rescheduling a better time so that it works for all parties.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
No they do not need to be present. We are an exclusive buyer agency and there have been a few times where - for whatever reason - we couldnt/werent present at the home inspection and it didn't result in us not receiving our commission (or result in a fight for it). That alone does not give the listing/sellers agent procuring cause to collect full commission.

good luck!

Web Reference: http://territory.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
I agree with the others. Unless the buyer's agent can't attend due to an emergency of some kind (death in the family etc), they should be at the home inspection. If the buyer is not that familiar with home repairs, it is very useful for an experienced agent to be present at the home inspection to help the buyer determine if the repairs are a deal breaker or if they are just "standard repairs". As an agent, you may not get to see the report and it is very helpful in negotiating deductions/repairs to know exactly what is going on.
Web Reference: http://www.sherriway.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Absolutely agree! The buyer's agent should absolutely be present at the home inspection! It's not a contractual obligation but it's an important part of properly representing the buyer. The agent owes the buyer that level of responsibility.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
As far as I know, there is no legal obligation for the buyers agent to have to come to the Home Inspection to ear their commission. However, a good Buyers Agent will ensure that they are present with their Buyer client every step of the way - at the showing and home inspection so that they can convey any issues that come up to the Sellers agent in an accurate fashion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
They do not NEED to be but certainly SHOULD be there if they are representing the buyer. That is an item that is negotiated bewteen teh buyer and their agent, the buyer should tell the agent what they expect BEFORE hiring them so they know what to get during the buying process. As a buyers agent i would be there to show you houses, write your offer, negotiate the best deal for you, attend your home inspection, attend your appraisal if it is a fha loan, write the addendums if anything found during the inspection or appraisal, keep an eye on your mortgage process, check the hud and assist yo with closing docs and attend closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
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