Home Buying in Elk Grove>Question Details

Lba99, Home Buyer in Mountain View, CA

Do I have to pay for an inspection, when real estate agent advise me do so, when I was 't even in contract.?

Asked by Lba99, Mountain View, CA Sat Nov 8, 2008

I am very angry. The real estate agent tells me I owe $395.00 because of home owner inspection she scheduled. Being a first time home buyer I relied on her experience and expertise doing a honest job 1. Bidded on Property. 2. Multiple bidder--request best offer. (received email from agent with representative email attached) 3. Received another contract from CitiFinanial Mortgage that stated that they would not advise bidder of other bidders. Received email from agent that stated she would not advise home inspection at this time. 5. Agent called and said she had schedule a home inspection. 6. Question agent, "why she doing home inspection now" (no reply) ask again about email. She stated that the representative did not know what she was talking about. Act very upset that I was questioning her judgement. She also said that their would be a walk through before we closed. Is their any agency or association that I can report this to. I now have a very low opioion of realtor.

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If you are under contract, I would let it go, because you would have needed an inspection to protect yourself anyway as the buyer, and the buyer almost always pays for the inspection, because again, an inspection is meant to protect you as the buyer. You as the buyer want to know that the property you are buying doesn't have any significant defects... because if it did and you closed, then you would have to pay for it... you would have no recourse after you close. If it helps at all, I know the money may seem like a lot, but as an example... our recent inspection (I am the buyer) uncovered almost $25000 worth of repairs that need to be done, and believe it or not, none of them were huge ticket items... it was just a lot of little things that added up. The seller is paying for almost all of that, so it really paid off for me.

If you did not end up buying the house, then you should definitely fight with the realtor and company that they should pay.

Also, a walk through you close is free and a good thing for you. You want to walk through for two reasons... 1) to make sure that the seller did any repairs that they promised you to your satisfaction and 2) that nothing else has been damaged, etc. between the inspection and the time you close.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008

This is not the type of real estate experience that adds to our positive reputation.

If you feel you were misrepresented you should probably begin with the agent's manager and/or broker. Schedule a face to face meeting with the company of another individual to serve as a witness.

If you feel this gets you no where, our next suggestion is to report the situation to the local Real Esatae Board. They will ask you to put your complaint in writing. This should include any documentation you might have to support your case. emails, letters, etc.

Additionally, it might be to your advantage to consult an attorney to get their input.

We understand your opinion is one that agents have earned. It is our hope that you believe there are agents that are doing everything they can to change this image. Can you bring yourself to appreciate the Trulia forum and what agents are trying to do for people like you with no expectation of any type of return?

We offer our deepest apology.

The "Eckler Team"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2008
Hmmm...are you questioning the timing of doing the home inspection, or having to do a home inspection in general? I am unclear as to whether or not you are in contract now? Often times with bank owned property, banks use their own addendum that supercedes the Residential Purchase Agreement you used to make your offer. The bank's addendum may state that you must complete your inspections prior to acceptance. I have seen this before...not knowing much more about your particular scenario, it is difficult to say.

The walk through she spoke of prior to the close of escrow is to verify that the property has been maintained in the same condition as when first got into contract to purchase the house. That is a formality in each transaction, and does not necessarily involve the services of a home inspector. Occasionally if a home inspection was performed during the transaction, and the seller performed any repairs requested by the buyer, the home inspector can return to the house to verify the repairs were completed.

To get back to your question if you owe the money, if you can document that you did not want the inspection I suppose you can make a case for not paying for the home inspection and ask your agent to pay. If you think your agent did something unethical, you can report her to the Sacramento Association of Realtors (if she is a member). They have a reporting, investigation, and tribunal process.

Generally speaking, if you are in contract to purchase the home now, buyer investigation / inspection is a recurring theme in all of paperwork you have probably signed thus far in the process to purchase your home - in the Residential Purchase Agreement, Buyer's Inspection Advisory, Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory, etc. Even in Citi's own purchase paperwork, there is probably some mention of investigation / inspection. Generally speaking, if a buyer decides NOT to obtain inspection(s), that buyer does so against the advice of the agent.

You are a first time buyer purchasing a home likely costing you a couple hundred thousand dollars. The home may have issues that are not obvious to you or your agent. If you are in contract, your agent has probably completed a visual inspection (and should have provided you with form AVID - the Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure), however she is not qualified give you an opinion regarding items that may be in need of immediate or future repair or servicing. You are purchasing a bank owned property...performing these inspections becomes even more important. When banks sell properties, they are sold with NO disclosures regarding the condition of the property. If you are lucky, the bank owner may provide you a pest inspection. Take your right to buyer investigation very seriously with these types of transactions.

I wrote a very long blog post regarding inspections that is linked below...read it. It most definitely IS in your best interest to have a home inspection, and potentially other types of inspections (pest inspection, roof inspection, etc.).

Good luck to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2008
Erin Stumpf…, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA
I will admit to having this happen to me, in fact you could be my client .....

The home inspection is an expense that occurs as a risk to the buyer. It is recommended that it's done AFTER the final contract is signed by the bank. In our situation there was a delay in the buyer returning some of the pages of the bank's counter, and that caused a glitch in getting final approval. The buyer was advised that we should wait to do the inspection, but because it seemed like it was a good opportunity for her children to see the property, the buyer decided to go ahead with the inspection, and I allowed it.

During that time, the listing agent submitted another offer, and the bank accepted their offer, rather than ours. It was a big disappointment to both the buyer and myself because it was a house that fit the buyers so perfectly. Timing was against us, and luck, in this circumstances.

The difficulty is in the fact that the home inspector did the work and should be paid for it. The buyer, who did not get the home, feels shortchanged. I had offered to pay for the next home inspection but in this case the buyer has felt she wants to work with another realtor. I had also tried to get the new buyer to use the home inspector so that the fee could be transferred and the buyer would not have that obligation.

This business is all about trust and communication. Not every transaction will go exactly right, and the bank owned properties can be confusing, with their long contracts, and delays in responding, (but expecting immediate response from our end).

Your question is more of an ethical question, as the home inspection company will never call you to collect. Ask the realtor to pay for the inspection for you, and get back in the game. Don't let this stop you from pursuing your dream, no matter who you decide to work with.

Good luck lba99!
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2008

Most of us will recommend a buyer complete a home inspection when purchasing a home once a ratified contract is obtained. (mutual agreeement/signatures/acceptance from seller and buyer) If this purchase was a short sale you would need the signature of the seller and the lender to have a ratified contract.

Even with a ratified contract there is a risk of "losing" the inspection money. If a buyer completes the inspections and doesn't like the results and/or the seller is not willing to make repairs the buyer can cancel the contract. The buyer is out the money for the inspection(s).

With all that said, it is not clear if you said "OK do the inspection." or the agent simply did it without your ok. If the agent completed the inspection without your ok or without a ratified contract, in my opinion she should be responsible for paying for it. Without knowing all the details it is hard to be sure where the communication broke down.

I would suggest talking with the agent and their broker to resolve the situation. You should be able to trust your agent to guide and advise you in the standards of a home purchase. If this did not happen you have every right to be frustrated. Good luck.

Web Reference: http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2008
I am so sorry to read on your predicament right now. Usually, home inspection is a choice you got to make. If you said yes, then you pay-if you said no, then you need to sign a waiver. Since you are buying an REO property, I will advise my clients,especially first time homebuyers ,to get the property inspected since you buy them "AS-IS". You may not appreciate what she did but I think this is for your own good. It is just unfortunate that she was not able to communicate these things with you. I hope though that you had a good deal on this house so it will offset the $395 that you have to pay. good Luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2008
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