Home Buying in Lewiston>Question Details

Missy, Home Owner in 04240

Should my buyer's agent know that home inspections should be scheduled during daylight hours?

Asked by Missy, 04240 Mon May 31, 2010

I interviewed the inspector I want to use and sent him my agent's contact number so he could call him and set up the inspection. I also sent my agent a list of my availability for the week. My agent emailed me back and said he could do something after 7 in the evening on Tuesday or Thursday, but was not available on any of the other times I was. There were several days and times I had listed. The inspector called me after leaving a message for the agent to ask about my preferred times. I explained that my agent was only available after 7 on two nights this week. The inspector explained that he needs daylight to work with and my agent should know that.
Should he know that? Is it standard practice to arrange inspections during daylight hours?

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Rick Beal’s answer
Hi Missy,

It sounds like your Buyer Agent might be a part time real estate agent with a full time job outside the industry. Is this the first time he hasn't been available during the week? it's not the best alternative, but perhaps he could have one of his associates at the agency cover for him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010

Your response raises a couple of things. Number one, you have an agreement with the agency and not the specific agent. You can call the Designated Broker and request another agent from the office. Secondly, if you are buying a short sale, has your offer been approved by the lien holder? I hope you're not doing inspections before that. Buying a short sale is not for the faint of heart.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 2, 2010
if there are trust issues... then be wary of who you chose to do the inspection... particularly where the referral comes from... do your homework. You don't need someone doing a fly by inspection for you!

best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 1, 2010
He is a full time agent - just not a very good one. There have been enough issues along the way that I should have asked for a termination before this. I just kept hoping it would work out. Foolish of me, I know that now. I don't believe he is deliberately making things difficult, he lacks experience. As a first time buyer I should have looked for someone with experience. It's too late for that now as I am under contract with a short sale. Unfortunately now I have to watch everything he does and hope I figure things out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 1, 2010
Good point from Terri - it may be that the agent has another job. Another good reason to work with a full time agent!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
Hi Missy,
It is true that a building inpection should be done during daylight hours for the benefit of visability for the inspector and the convenience of the homeowner. There are times the agent is not available when the inspectors are available. I usually tell my buyer clients to go ahead and schedule at a time that is convenient for both you and the inspector and if I can be there I will but it is more importnat for you to be there. If you are using a professional inspoector there shouldn't be any problem with the home owner but if they are still uncomfortable having you and the inspector there for that amout of time without an agent, perhaps your agent could send a proxy or the selling agent could be there (although I do not recommend that).
Obviously this is a time sensitive issue and you only have so many days to complete your investigations, get the results AND negotiate any issues with the seller. Your buyer agent should either make him/her self available, send a proxy, or make arrangements for you to go without the agent.
Good luck,
Linda Gardiner, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Town & County
Bangor, Mainbe
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
I would ask your agent if they have a team member who would be able to be at the inspections during the day. Happy Memorial Day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
Even in California where the sun is up until 8 at night, most inspectors work during the week and before 5:00 pm. They have made exceptions on weekends for me.

It sounds like your agent has another job. I always attend the inspection with my buyer as part of my service. I would discuss this further with your agent and see what your agent is willing to do to accommodate your schedule and the inspector 's schedule.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
Hi there - it is always best to inspect a home in daylight - an inspection involves a thorough review of the home inside and out - and particularly for the outside inspection, daylight is key. It sounds to me as though you have bumped into an availability rub - but agent availability should not tilt the scale. If you've given the agent several options and none are doable during daylight hours, then ask her to arrange for an associate to step in. Your agents role in the inspection is the confirm the time with the listing agent/seller and to provide access to the inspector - and then to step back and not interfere. Essentially our job is to open the door. If she cannot be there to do that then ask her to find someone who can.

And incidentally, you definitely want to attend the inspection - I insist that my buyers attend. You will learn so much about the workings of the home you are purchasing.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
Hi Missy:

Since your agent emailed you back then you should go back and ask why they cant do it before 7 p.m.

Also clearly this time of the year, it does stay bright long after 8.00 p.m. or it could be that the agent is holding down several jobs to make ends meet.

When you interviewed your Buyers Agent did you check whether he was full or part time? Did he have a support staff that could fill in for him. Sometimes agents have Office Handlers, who will Open Doors and help the Inspectors in and Coordinate files. Ask your Agent if he can send over a Coordinator during regular
business hours.

Let us know how it goes, Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
I have not heard of a home inspection done in the evening hours. Not to say that it isn't done. If I were not available to meet my clients preferred time, I would have a trusted associate cover for me. Time is of the essence for inspections and as an agent, I would not defer this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010

I have never done an inspection at 7pm. I don't know inspectors who do inspections at 7pm. I do not live in Maine, but I am licensed in multiple states, and my experience spans both geography and years.

While it may be possible to conclude the exterior portion of the inspection during daylight hours, I find the introduction of this time slot to indicative of a part time agent. If that is the case, then the "part time" agent is expecting others to accommodate his ability to maintain his full time job.

While it is not always possible to accommodate a buyer's first choice for a time slot when scheduling a home inspection, fitting it in "around a full time job" seems to place the buyer's needs too low on the priority list. Additionally, such expectation imposes upon the schedules of inspectors, seller's, and seller's agents.

Perhaps this really is a full time agent who had a full schedule and was offering evening hours as an alternative to delay.

Either way, I would hold ground for a daylight inspection and avoid any risk of compromises in the thoroughness or results of the inspection. If the buyer agent cannot ever accommodate during daylight hours, he needs to find another agent to step in and assist.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I would say so... but consider this... this time of year you have considerable daylight remaining after 7 PM. You generally only need an hour or so to do the exterior... depending on the home... sometimes less.

It can be pitch dark outside during the interior inspection... that does not matter.

Other things may come into play as well... depending on what is being done for inspection/testing services... but this time of year... 7 PM would not be a problem.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 31, 2010
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