1st time home buyers dealing with aggressive sellers present at every inspection...any advice?

Asked by Mmoore, 15146 Tue May 10, 2011

At home inspection, he constantly jumped in while we were being read the inspection details. At pool inspection, 2 tiles fell off the pool and he joked we should glue them on and now claims via a letter from his realtor to ours that in additiona door was damaged during termite and they are very angry. What recourse do we have?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon May 23, 2011
Others have provided excellent advice already, and I appreciate your providing additional details on your agent's role.

Beyond that, I'd just emphasize that a lot of sellers are very sensitive about their homes, and very defensive about any criticism--actual or potential. They often see the home inspector as a tool of the buyer, searching for any possible defect or problem so that the price can be lowered still further. So that's why it's best to let your Realtor be the buffer and interface between the seller and you. And it sounds from your description that your agent was doing about the best she could during the inspection.

There's an understandable tendency for both the seller and the buyer to take a real estate transaction very personally. Try to minimize that, if you can, and let your agent deal with as much of it as possible.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Knowbetternow, Home Seller, Bucks County, PA
Tue Feb 28, 2012
It amazes me how gullible some realtors, agents/broker think people are. The seller has every right to be present during the inspection, this is the sellers property , the liability of any damage that an over zealous inspector might create will fall directly on the current home owner. Anyone can get their inspectors license and if you are a home owner who is honest and up front and not intrusive you will not be a deterrent to a prospective buyer, But why so many agents/inspectors feel that's it's wrong for a home owner to be present is obvious. Accountability and liability. I hope that other home owners who plan on selling get to read my take on this issue. I have a slate roof and believe me i am not letting any inspector walk on my roof for the risk of damage.
0 votes
Carmen Brode…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri May 20, 2011
The Sellers should not be present during an inspection if at all possible. I know some sellers are adamant about being there. Even if they refused to leave during the inspection they should not have been there during the review.
0 votes
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Thu May 12, 2011
Hi Mmoore,

Reading through your responses, sounds like you have a good agent. Let her handle this. Try not to worry too much. As far as the termite damage is concerned, that should be a termite company issue...if it's true. I think you are right that this seller is over-anxious...but to me it shows how nervous they are about this going through, so that's a good thing actually.

Hope it all works out for you,

0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Thu May 12, 2011
Hi Mmoore:

Who ordered the termite inspection? If the door was damaged during the inspection, the termite company would be liable.

As far as the Seller being aggressive, let your realtor and inspector deal with them. You are on a fact finding mission...and really do not have to deal with the Seller. That is what your realtor is for.

Good luck!

All the best,

Kat Becker
Prudential California Realty
0 votes
Van Agakanian, Agent, Tarzana, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
You've been given good advice! Normally, challenging situations brought about in any real estate transaction are of circumstantial nature. It depends what exactly happened and what became of it. There are times when both buyers and sellers get wound up over something minor. It requires a skill set gained through experience, on the part of the sales person (even the buyer), to calmly settle the matter and move on with the sale. I personally prefer sellers be present at the time of physical inspection! This way you are assured to address all your concerns, right on the spot, as the inspector comments on every item on the inspection list. Moreover, the seller can never allege that the property damages are instigated by you or inspectors.
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Mmoore, Home Buyer, 15146
Tue May 10, 2011
Thank you all so much and I will follow the advice, appreciate everyone taking the time.
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Angel J. Her…, Agent, Hawthorne, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
First discuss this issue with your agent and make clear to him that he should stand up for you and your rights, you as buyer have the right to ask this person to not be present with the people you hire to make sure that all the concerns you might have are been handle in a profesional manner,
ANd always keep in miond that is better to know all the issues that this property might have before you commit to buy then after you have sign the closing of the escrow papers.
and the best of luck
Angel J. Hernandez
Prudential california Realty
0 votes
Janey Bishop, Agent, Calabasas, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Sellers are often sensitive about criticisms to their house. It would be helpful if Listing Agent contributed some handholding but throw in some compliments and I bet they will go a long way.
Web Reference:  http://www.janeybishop.com
0 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Your Realtor should handle this for you. I agree with Laura Coffey, whihever one of you hired the termite inspector will need to deal with the inspector for the damage, You should also read over your contract to see if the issue is addressed within the contract.
0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Mmoore: Don't take anything that happens in a real estate transaction personnel. It's just business. Everybody is "on edge" You say you want the house, don't let a few dollars get in the way of a "good house" and a "good deal". Let your agent do the talking.

David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Resist the temptation to let your ego drive your behavior. If you really want the house, you have to outfox the seller... play along and be nice... if you just cant stand them, let your agent deal with them... my buyers usually never get to talk to the sellers directly... I take care of everything for them, including scheduling inspections and negotiating with seller's and their agents...

Focus on the big picture....

Best of luck!
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Typically the contract is written that the seller pays for termite. If it was the seller's inspector they should be responsible. If it was your termite person they would be responsible

It sounds like the listing Realtor has no control over the seller. Unfortunately per the California Purchase Agreement it is written that the seller does not have to pay for any repairs. You have a right to inspect and a right to walk away if they won't fix things you feel are necessary.

Maybe you should have your Realtor ask if they can present the request for repairs. They may go over better for you. Just like we can't choose our family we can't help what kind of seller comes with the house we love.

Good Luck.
0 votes
Mmoore, Home Buyer, 15146
Tue May 10, 2011
Thanks everyone, our realtor is great and was present. she shot him down several times. We love the house but this guy has way too much time on his hands!
0 votes
The Oliver T…, Agent, Ovilla, TX
Tue May 10, 2011
It is never a good idea for the sellers to be present during inspections. You hired the inspector and the information that was in the inspection report belongs to you! The only way the seller should know what is on your inspection report is only if you give them the information or allow them to view the report. Was your agent not present ? I'm not sure exactly what recourse your looking for, but if you are protected in the contract under an option period or inspection period, then negotiate the repairs that you want resolved by the seller. If something was broke during the inspection, then that issue should be taken up with the sellers agent and the inspector.
Hope things all work out.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Tue May 10, 2011
Hi Mmoore

Right, sadly the inspector or you have to pay.
Was your Realtor there?

Good luck
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue May 10, 2011
hopfully you have a buyer broker that should be working ion yoru behalf to shield you from this. Your agent should have been at that inspection, if there was damage it would be on the inspector , not on you. Your agent needs to talk to the listing agent and have them work with the sellers. It is never recomended sellers be there for any inspections. Good luck working things out
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
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