Home Buying in 92869>Question Details

Garcia Kinca…, Real Estate Pro in Orange, CA

Experienced Agents: What is your personal style during the inspection? Follow the inspector around the home asking questions? What is most helpful?

Asked by Garcia Kincaid Group, Orange, CA Fri Dec 7, 2012

I am sure this question will elicit many responses because it will vary depending on different factors. I am asking more specifically when you have buyer (s) present. Do you advise your buyers to wait until the end of the inspection to ask questions or is a more casual approach helpful? Thank you for all your input!

Help the community by answering this question:


I always attend every inspection and encourage my buyers to be there as it gives them an unprecedented opportunity to really understand how their home was put together and to have the chance to actually have an organic exchange with the inspector(s) regarding any issues that are uncovered. I go for a couple of reason, the primary reason being I have a strong background in construction and renovation and while I will never work for a client hearing what the issue is allows me to frequently know who I'm going to have to bring in to get repair bids as well as allowing me to make certain I'm clear on what the problem is so that I may clearly articulate this to the Seller's agent if necessary. I tend to stay in the background until issues are uncovered and then listen in and may offer my input or possibly ask questions the buyer should ask but perhaps may not know to ask.

Good question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
Good question. Actually, it makes sense to me to ask the inspector what he/she prefers. I've had inspectors who were very comfortable with being followed around, others not.

I always tell my buyers to bring a book or some work with them...often we do paperwork together while the inspector is working. Typically, the heavy Q & A and results discussion is at the end.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
There is a "like" button.... see the "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" at the top left of the comment!
Flag Sun Dec 9, 2012
There should be a "like" button on here. Thanks Cindy.
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Great question. I always attend every inspection and recommend having the buyers attend the last 30 minutes of inspection to ask questions. Some buyers want to be present the entire time and actually follow the inspector. If this happens I will always let the inspector know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly. It’s also a great time to go over any escrow paperwork, disclosures etc..

Steve Colvin
Premier Ca Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 11, 2013
I let the inspector do his job... Imagine you as a realtor showing your listing and the seller is following you around watching your every move...

Let the inspector do his job. You are using him as you built trust in his work...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Don't worry about whether or not you're inconveniencing the inspector. You're paying him for his professional experience and interpretation of what he observes through the entire inspection process. If you want to ask a hundred questions and interrupt him during every phase of the entire inspection that's your right.

You will be making a decision that will impact one of the most important decisions of your life on one of the biggest investments you will perhaps ever make. The more information and knowledge you acquire during this process the better armed you will be when it comes time to sign a significant part of your life away.

Additionally, the seller has the right to participate in the entire inspection process whether he's paying for the inspection or not. After all it's their home and they have as much right to better understand the dynamics of how it's put together as much as the buyer does. If there are defects or issues the seller needs to address they need to be informed as such.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Buyers are paying for the inspection and many inspectors do not want the Sellers around as it is not their client. I attend every inspection as well but only want information on what we have not diagnosed during our visit(s) previously.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
It depends on the buyer. Asking questions along the way sometimes can through the inspector off his plan. Ask when you absolutely have to or when you are worried about a specific area or item. Answering the buyers questions is important
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Hey Heather,

If I am working with the buyer (most of the time I am)

I follow the inspector and ask a boat load of questions. I encourage my client to do the same.

When working with sellers, I try and be a little more reserved,but I still ask questions.

I often times learn things during inspections that benefit me personally!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
Great bunch of answers. As a general contractor and a real estate broker I strongly encourage the buyer and seller to participate in the entire inspection and actually belly crawl the distance from the crawl space to the attic if they're so inclined.

The more transparent the inspection the better as far as I'm concerned and the less likely there are to be any non disclosure lawsuits arise. As a matter of fact when I did field inspections for homeowners who had property damage insurance claims I used to do it with audio/visual assistance. It really worked and helped to get my client the best possible coverage on their loss.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
I always encourage the Buyer (Client) to walk-through the inspection. Most will tire after the first hour -then I'll continue and recap at the end; however if I see a safety issue I'll stop and alert everyone. Agents usually linger in the background maybe fearing of slowing down the inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
I always encourage the Buyer (Client) to walk-through the inspection. Most will tire after the first hour -then I'll continue and recap at the end; however if I see a safety issue I'll stop and alert everyone. Agents usually linger in the background maybe fearing of slowing down the inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
Hi, Heather -- what a great question! And you are correct, there is no "right" answer. I am always present at the property inspections as well as the buyers. I explain to them beforehand that the inspection can take from 2 - 4 hours so that they can budget their time. Even when they hear this, somehow they still expect the inspection to be over and done in an hour! I usually bring transaction paperwork along for us to review and sign as well. I also explain that some inspectors prefer to do the inspection without constant interruption, while others welcome the buyer shadowing them and asking questions throughout the inspection, and reassure them that if the inspector's preference is to not be shadowed, the inspector will discuss the inspection with them once he is finished and walk them to areas of concern and answer their questions, with the follow up being the actual inspection report.

Once the inspector arrives, I introduce the buyers and ask the inspector's preference as far as us waiting to the end for results and questions, or following along. Most inspectors are willing to have the prospective homeowners follow them throughout the property, and often the buyers learn much more than they would just listening to the report at the end of the inspection.

Most realtors have probably encountered homebuyers that don't want to interact with the inspector other than get the final review and then others who want the inspector to literally rebuild the house for them. I have found as long as all parties are courteous, home inspectors are willing to go above and beyond (or, in this case, crawl under and climb over) during the course of the inspection!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2012
Thats funny!.."literally rebuild the house for them"! Yes, my inspector said that he even gets calls years down the line if something becomes inoperable! Thank you for your answer!
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
I follow the inspector around (along with the buyers). I only ask questions, if I feel that the inspector is overlooking an area (or has failed to talk out-loud about it), and the buyers appear to timid to ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
You don't want to become "too" knowledgeable... I've know of agents who've been "sued" by their clients... because they were "behaving" like an inspector.
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Thats great you look out for your buyers. I wish I was more knowledgeable with items the inspector should look for, perhaps it would be a good idea to take a class on that:) Thank you Alan!
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
The inspection is very important, and it is a great time for the buyer to get a more intimate feel for their purchase. I do let my buyer know that they can be there the whole time (they are paying for it) and try to coordinate between buyer and inspector what works best as far as questions and interruptions. I usually let them know they will have a chance to go over it all at the end so they may want to wait til then to do so. As for myself, if the buyer can't be there and if the buyer has something they want me to ask or something they want the inspector to focus on, I will ask for them. I am always there the whole time for my buyer. The inspector is the pro, and I usually keep my nose out of it, letting him/her take the lead. If I have any input, it is usually just advising the buyer to be aware of something. I try to keep a positive vibe during the inspection and encourage the buyer to take a real good look at their new home and get to know it better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
nice, I like your comment on keeping a positive vibe, this seems important because it can be stressful if you find major problems! Thank you Jackie!
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Most inspectors that I see frequently are explaining things to the buyer as they go along. As a buyer's agent I'm right there with them usually but mostly to make sure that I understand what the inspector is highlighting so if the buyer makes requests of the seller I'll be able to explain the issues at least enough so it's clear what we're talking about.

There was an inspector in my area who didn't allow conversation until the end of the inspection. I really don't think that's helpful. With a good inspector the buyer will walk away with a good sense of what the issues are, an idea of how the house functions, and guidance for ongoing maintenance and care of the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
Thank you Elizabeth, yes, as I walked around with my last inspection some really valuable conversation arose with him and my client. I liked that.
Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
I'm in agreement with Thom. I'll ask the inspector to tour the property with the buyer AFTER he has completed his inspection to point out problems. Other than that, the inspector should be left alone.
I do, however, ask for a copy of the inspection report and will disclose the contents to any future buyers if the current buyer backs out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
I usually have the buyers be present, but we stay out of his way ( good time to sign disclosures etc),

We let the inspector do his job and wait for the summary at the end.
I try to call the buyers towards the end and give them a summary. some buyers want to be there from the beggining and that is fine too...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
I work with an inspector that encourages interaction with the buyer. He points out items as he goes, gives them a recap at the end in addition to the full report. Usually gives the buyer peace of mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
The buyer should not interrupt the Inspector during her/his inspection. A good inspector may stop at different points during the inspection to point something out to the Buyer and Agent. Also, the inspector will provide a complete written inspection and walk the Buyer through it after they are finished.

Now, on the Listing side, I NEVER attend the inspection and instruct the Inspector and Selling Agent NOT to provide the inspection report to the SELLER nor ME. If we see it, we have to disclose it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
Thank you Thom, good to know.
Flag Fri Dec 7, 2012
I prefer to have the buyer come for the last hour, so that the inspector isn't distracted. But, if I have a very hands-on buyer who wants to crawl in the attic with the inspector, I and my inspector are happy to adapt so that the buyer is comfortable
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2012
Wow, Natalie! Thats brave to crawl into the attic:), I agree, adapting is key!
Flag Fri Dec 7, 2012
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