Home Buying in 15146>Question Details

Marge216, Home Seller in 15146

when a buyer has a home inspection -can the seller be present?

Asked by Marge216, 15146 Wed Mar 30, 2011

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As a seller I would not want some one coming through my home and not knowing what they were doing. I had that experience and the inspector left radiator valves open and scraped away concrete from a concrete based shower stall, my home is 100 years old, my mistake was I didn't follow him and he took liberties that go beyond what an inspector has. I don't know why anyone would trust their home to a stranger. I notice that most of these responses are from inspectors and realtors. A seller should be present but silent unless asked and if you see something that the inspector does that concerns you you should be able to address it instead of finding out later that they forgot to tighten the latch of an access panel or leaving the thermostat up to 82 degrees in the middle of summer.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 28, 2012
As a seller, I agree. The inspector, the buyers, the buyers parents, the buyers agent all at our home for over 5 hours! We were not & have a lot of art and valuables which made us uneasy. House was extremely hot when we returned probably because they turned on the heat; the inspector somehow blew 2 fuses and didnt flip them back; 3 blinds that were pulled up were not returned to the window ledge; the 2 dishwashers were tried but not put through the entire cycle so there was standing water; apparently they didnt know how to unlock our new storm door so the handle was very loose and had to be tightened; they dislodged the cushions from our leather designer couch and did not fix; water splashed up on every sink counter; refrigerator ice maker had water on it and on the floor; our dimmer switches were not returned to how we left them (think they didnt know how they work) and we are still finding small issues etc so will we will never do this again unless we or our RE agent is there
Flag Tue Aug 18, 2015
I don't recommend it. They buyer should be present, as it's their inspection at their expense. Personally I think the buyer and seller should have as little contact as possible until all contingencies are removed. You don't know what you may say which will interfere with the process and possibly put the buyer off. They want to take in all the inspector has to say and show them. If/when the inspector finds an issue they will ask you to address, it's best for this to be handled through the agents. If you attend the inspection you may find yourself trying to explain everything that comes up, and much of it won't need your explanation.
Once the inspection is complete, they may request you address some issues uncovered by the inspector or they may accept the home as is. Once the requests are made and negotiated it would be a good time for you and the buyer to meet and discuss any other issues prior to closing assuming all other contingencies have been removed.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
I would suggest not - if the seller wants a represenative present, better to ask his/her agent to be there. But having the seller present - much like at a showing - can make it uncomfortable for the buyer.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
The Seller should always be present. It's called ownership. The inspector is a complete stranger whose competence is unknown. The buyers and their agent are complete unknowns. This is not a walk-through. This is mechanical. A Seller, willing to leave a mechanical inspection to a complete stranger, is short-sighted and misguided. If the buyers are uncomfortable, don't be present or find some other home. If the buyer's agent or the inspector are uncomfortable, consider other professions. The Seller should always be present to protect his property from negligence. It's called ownership.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2015
Really...it doesn't matter...you know your type of seller...so usually the Seller's agent has a "talking to" with the homeowner that wants to be there...a good agent will explain how "things are going to Go Down on the inspection"...some seller's are just 1-stay at home, so they ain't leavin 2-they want to know what the inspector finds so they can jump on it right away 3-they just want to be helpful 4-rarely...rarely will they want to be there to discredit things that are found or to be a nuisance...the #4 only happen when you don't have a correct "talking to" with your seller...No Stress
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2014
how about the buyer in the house for 4 hours in home with inspecto
Flag Wed Jun 17, 2015
I think it is helpful to have the seller present, as he may be able to answer questions about the property as they arise.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2014
Okay. I have read all of the advice here. My thought is that every situation is unique, and the seller needs to consider their home, the buyers, the realtors, and themselves. It is a decision the seller has to make. If you want to be there, than do it, but it's probably a good idea to keep a distance. It's really hard for people to leave their home to strangers. If your comfortable with the circumstances, then head out to a movie or a meal and comeback and hope that everything looks okay. You do what you want as the seller!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 21, 2014
Answer is yes but it could make the buyers uncomfortable, but sellers seem to be staying for home inspections more than in the past. I have had this happen 3 times this year. As long as the buyer is comfortable with it I do not see a problem with it. Sometimes it could help if there is question or concern about something. Typically if seller wants to be present I do suggest that instead they should just have there agent be there if they are concerned about what may be going on in the home. Best of luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
Yes, the seller can be present. We do not recommend it. But both buyer and sellers agents should be present at the inspection.
A lot could be settled with a meeting of the minds.
Best of luck with your house hunting. With financing at a all time low, this is a great time to purchase a home.

Jim & Jeri LaMarca
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2012
In my experience the answer is YES. It is their right. However I do advise my sellers to leave the inspector and buyer alone, to do their inspection in peace. They deserve time alone as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi, yes the seller can be there but they really shouldn't get involved. In my experience it makes the situation very uncomfortable for the buyer, especially if they follow you around and add commentary.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi Marge,

Usually the seller is not present and if they feel the need to have some present they have their agent there. The home inspection is paid for by the buyer and it insures them that there are no real issues with the home. It also helps the buyer and their agent write the repair addendum if one is needed. If the buyer terminates the transaction due to the home inspection the seller has a right to request a copy. That verbiage is in the sale agreement.

Hope that helps answer your question.
Best regards,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2015
As a home buyer I felt really insulted and uncomfortable about the sellers being there. Especially when you never disclosed that you would be, or having you pets run around after I told them I was allergic!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2014
While it does happen that at times a seller is on site during inspection, and while it can provide useful information, and be helpful, it is not the norm. And like many instances , there is no absolute answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 18, 2014
It may be best to leave the inspector alone to do his/her job. If they find any issues it can be addressed and or resolved through you working with your agent. If you are after a early report request your agent to stop by during the inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 12, 2014
As a buyer if the sellers were there I would not be, and if ANYTHING was wrong with the house no matter how minor I would use it to break the contract and find another house. I don't want to deal with psycho sellers, there are too many other houses available for purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 21, 2014
Josh, have you ever been a seller?
Flag Wed Jan 22, 2014
Selling and purchasing a home can be stressful so why involve the Seller in the Inspection process? Any and all unique issues with the home should be known before the inspection. The Buyer, Buyer's Realtor, and the certified Property Inspector utilize a designated timeframe to go over all aspects of the property.

It is the responsibility of the Buyer's Realtor and the Inspector to ensure the home is left in good shape, the garbage disposal is off, the faucets are not running, etc.

Personally, I do not want the Seller at the Inspection, whether I am representing the Seller or the Buyer. Before the inspection starts, the Buyer hands a check over to the Inspector. The Buyer pays for the inspection of their potential new home, and this is their time to see if this particular home will fit their requirements.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 19, 2013
Everyone should attend each home inspection and inspire the buyers to do the same. If they are unable to join the complete home inspection that can sometimes take more than 3 hours, I recommend them they should be there during at least for 1/2 hour. It is good to always have home inspections…”
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
i am a home inspector.....i recently did a home inspection (pgh pa area)
the buyer was present...followed us from room to room, adding commentary
along the way. there was no way to shut this down. he was making the buyer un-comfortable.
they were un-able to ask things in his presence (i learned that while we were talking outside the house when inspection was finished)...... if you are concerned that your home wil be mistreated by the buyers or the inspector, ask your listing agent to be there.... NOT YOU. hopefully the listing agent will know the protocol for staying out of the way, and leaving this time to buyer and inspector.
tim @ oleary home inspection
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
The seller does not have to be present unless the buyer has specific quetions to the seller and the seller needs to show the special instructions on the features of the house. Bur usually, the buyer feels uncomfortable if the seller shows up.
Web Reference: http://www.debraahn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 13, 2012
I am no expert here but it seems like the buyer is paying for the inspection and all the information exchanged is for the buyers benefit then why should the seller be there? Depending on the inspector's disposition, he may be intimidated by the seller's presence and the questions asked and answered may be colored by sellers presence. Then in my opinion this inspection is not really in the buyer's best interest. As for the inspector, leaving things unlatched and scraping things as one of the sellers had commented here ...isn't that why there is a selling agent. To protect the sellers property? Shouldn't he or she have been the one making sure there is nothing left undone? I would blame your selling agent for that mishap. I think the best scenario after reading all the advice : is the buyers present with their realtor and the selling agent is also present to observe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 13, 2012
Yes, it is the sellers home. Unless the purchase contract specifically states that the seller must not be present he has every right to be there. That being said, it is almost never a good idea for the seller to be present. It can annoy the buyer who might not feel comfortable talking openly around the owner, and it can also hurt the seller if he or she says anything that either puts the seller at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating for repairs or something that could otherwise cause problems for the sale. So yes, they can be, but they really should be advised in the strongest terms by their agent to go away during the inspection. At best the sellers presence will have no impact on the sale, at worst it could cost the seller money or potentially even kill the deal.
Web Reference: http://JenniferMu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
Marge --

You have gotten some great feedback to your question. One thing that strikes me, however, is that none of the respondents asked you this question: why would you as the seller want to be present during a home inspection?

Bottom line: Whoever pays for it should be there. Imagine you hire an attorney or an investment advisor to give you advice. Ask yourself if you would want someone else sitting in on that consultation who has a different objective than protecting your interests.

Sellers are well advised to contract a licensed professional home inspector to conduct an inspection before putting their home on the market. Be aware that a great inspector is VERY picky. A lot of what gets mentioned in these reports are not issues that will make or break a contract, they are matters of information. Fix problems the inspector finds, and create a notebook with the report and the repair receipts. What a fabulous marketing tool that is (especially true if you are selling your home yourself). That way there should be no surprises later should a buyer also contract an inspection after making an offer.

If the customs and contracts in your state are similar to those in Florida, evenin an "as-is" contract, if a buyer makes the outcome of the home inspection a contingency that would allow the buyer to withdraw an offer to purchase your property, the buyer is obligated to give you a copy of the home inspection upon your request if they do exercise the option to withdraw the offer. Similarly, if after an inspection reveals an issue they want you to either fix or give a concession for, you are within your rights to request a copy of the inspection report.

Still want to know why you asked the question in the first place, as I am not sure you got the answer you really needed.

Best wishes!


Elaine Cloud Goller
Realtor® Certified SFR*

Taking the drama out of real estate transactions

* Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource -
the only short sale certification recognized by the National Association of Realtors®

Cell: (727) 235-8719
Office: (727) 398-9900
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Keller Williams Realty - Gulf Coast
Two Convenient Locations:
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Each office is independently owned & operated
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
This is a tough one, but in the end if I am representing a seller I would leave it up to them. You can't make the assumption that the buyer will not leave the inspector's side. No Seller should permit the buyer to have several hours of free reign in their client's home. If the buyer wants to participate in the inspection then the buyer's Agent must be present to take responsibility for protecting the seller's property and privacy if the Seller or Seller's agents are not there. Several inspectors have weighed in on this and noted that the Seller can be a royal pain, but I am sure a buyer hanging around can be just as much inconvenience, albiet they are paying for the job. In my summary. I think if the buyer is going to be present the buyer's agent must accompany them at least. Better to also have the Seller's agent there if the buyer is going to be there. Pros no how to stay out of the way and let the buyer's participate, and even enjoy, being in their now home.
Flag Thu Sep 11, 2014
Because people cannot be trusted. Period. You cannot assume that strangers coming into your home are going to do exactly what they came to do and nothing more.
Flag Fri Feb 7, 2014
Nice Job!!!
Jim & Jeri LaMarca
Flag Tue Jan 21, 2014
Can? Yes. But I wouldn't recommend it. But as a buyer's agent, I do ask for the seller's agent to be present and hear everything the inspector has to point out so that when the buyer is asking for credit or things to be fixed, the seller's agent can better present the requests to the seller. This has worked well with me every time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 7, 2011
As a home inspector we have found that sometimes the sellers are there and have given me information about the home in advance that has been helpful, especially since they know the home sometimes better than anyone. I have seen where sellers are uncomfortable because they feel like I am combing their home with a fine tooth comb... It all depends on the person and the inspector. Most of the time they chose to be some where else just for comfort sake.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 7, 2011
Yes, I would! because the best outcome I had in a similar situation was when the motivated seller and my ready, willing and able buyer met to inspect the house and signed off on all remaining stipulation shortly after!! . I have found that most folks don't want to lose control of the conversation and will limit information. I like to think that information is the best way to quickly close a Win-Win Transaction..!:) Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 7, 2011
As a home inspection company owner I can tell you that it's not really appropriate for the seller to be present during a buyer's inspection. If I'm hired by the buyer it's not fair to have the seller listening and contributing. I'm going to give all of my attention to my client.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 7, 2011
Generally when a seller is present, it presents some tension. Typically a seller wants to be present to offer information or just to see what the inspection uncovers. I suggest that the seller not be there. Many times the inspection presents many items that the buyer does not intend to act on and the seller gets worked up for nothing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi Marge,

Yes...the sales agreement specifically states that the seller can be present. However, most agents recommend to the seller that they leave as it can be uncomfortable for them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Having the seller present during a home inspection could be a detriment to the deal. While the seller may think they could offer explanations for any issues, this creates a huge conflict of interest. The buyer is paying for the home inspector to do his/her job. Any issues that arise from the home inspection should be handled by the agents as per the sales agreement.

While there is no "rule" here, I would discuss this further with your agent if you feel you need to be present.

Jennifer Ambrose
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011

Yes the Seller can be present unless agreed to otherwise in writing in the Agreement Of Sale (and this can be part of your offer) or some other document. I have had Seller's in the house during the inspection twice in the last couple weeks. Sometimes they may help for clarifications but often may get their feelings hurt when someone is critiquing their home or even make statements that can be misinterpreted.

As to having the Seller's Agent or Buyer's Agents there, I think the old adage, "too many cooks spoil the stew" applies. The inspection is best left to the expert inspector one on one with the Buyer without interference from anyone so that they may concentrate on the inspection and freely discuss. If the Seller is present in the house they should respectfully stay at a distance. When the written report and the Buyer's reply is given they have the opportunity to comment. But yes the can be present.

Thank you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
I guess the seller "can" be present but shouldn't. There is no reason at all for the seller to be present. The home inspector works for the buyer. The buyer should have the opportunity to ask the inspector questions without the seller hovering over them or lurking around the corner. The home inspector should also be allowed to perform his/her job without interference from the seller or the seller's agent for that matter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Yes, the seller has the right to stay during home inspection but if you truly would not like the seller there, you can ask your Realtor to speak to the sellers Realtor to see if the seller would be willing to be gone for a couple hours. Sometimes it helps too if the seller knows their own Realtor will stay during the home inspection incase they are worried about their personal items.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
yes the seller can be present
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
They can be....But turn that into your advantage when the inspector say that needs to be fixed...look at the seller, than make note's ....put the items in the contract to be fixed. Tell them they know that those items need to be addressed. How or who will fix them. This could turn a neg. to a post. for you, and save you money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 30, 2011
Tim Leary Cincinnati Ohio
I am a seller and the home inspector that we had through the house for our first inspection was there by himself with the buyer and we got home and things were broken like are pool pump. I found that he had turned the furnace off on the switch that is mandatory on the side of the unit not on the control panel. I have built homes for 25 years and the inspection report was a joke. These inspectors in Ohio do not have a licensing board or regulatory board and something needs to be done.
Flag Thu May 21, 2015
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