Do you attend the home inspection as Buyer's Agent?

43 Replies

@Angela Palchowski , one more ancillary reason for a seller or their agent to be present at inspections is to make sure the inspector does his work safely and does not damage the property. 

Of course, this shouldn't be necessary, but unfortunately once in a great while it is. One time I had to stop an inspector from trying to climb up garage shelving to get to an attic space above. It wasn't safe and it was likely to result in some sort of damage. 

These sorts of incidents are rare I'm sure, but it does happen and it isn't really very different than listings where a seller asks their seller's agent to be present at all showings to make sure their property is respected.

100% yes! You should never leave your client alone in the seller's home with the home inspector. You are responsible for ensuring that everything is put back in place, doors and windows locked and lights off.

@Mindy Jensen Buyer’s agent should definitely be present. Barring unusual circumstances, not being there is just plain lazy. I was actually under the impression that the agent HAD to be in the home if the buyer is there. Maybe that’s only Mississippi, or maybe I’m just mistaken.

Either way, a decent agent would encourage their client to be there for an end-of-inspection review with home inspector at the very least, and the agent would be there to make sure the buyer has the opportunity to ask the right questions.

By insisting on being present for your buyer-clients, you are not old-fashioned. You are professional.

As a seller, I would be pretty irritated if a buyer agent left a buyer and inspector alone in my house.  Fear of getting sued as a reason for buyer agent not going? So, the motto is cover yourself first and worry about your client and customer second. That’s sure to be a winning pitch to get the next listing! 

My husband is an inspector. He wants the buyer and agent to come for a walkthrough at the end. He’s a former agent and knows the importance of this. However, it drives him nuts when they are there the whole time. Buyers ask too many (often trivial or unrelated) questions and distract him from his job.  Imagine having someone constantly over your shoulder while you try to work for 4 hours.  I’d be annoyed too. 

I always either attend or have another agent attend for me. I get them in, introduce them if needed and then get out of the way. I go talk to Uncle Jack, the listing agent if present or just work on my laptop. I want the inspector to have the time with their client without my opinions or bias (That's why they are paying the inspector) If they see anything that looks alarming or something they feel we may need to go back with, I ask them to grab me so that I have a reference point for later. 

@Angela Palchowski As far as "Sellers and sellers agent are not permitted to be there without permission from the buyer". I can say I am not sure how it works in PA, but around us nobody has a right to kick the owner out of their own house or tell them who they can or can't have on the property they own. I always advise my seller to not be there because ANYTHING they say can cause them trouble later. If they have concerns about nobody being there I will offer to be in their place. If they insist on being themselves. I will attend because there is no way I am leaving the buyers agent, buyers, Uncle Larry and a home inspector alone with my seller. 

As an ASHI home inspector, I can say that we want you there, both the buyer and the buyer's agent. It is much easier to explain and understand the issues to everyone firsthand.  This face to face meeting also gives everyone a chance to get acquainted and (everyone's concern) it does lower the chance of a lawsuit. 

If your inspector prefers to work alone, find a different inspector. 

I understand that on occasion you can't be at an inspection if you're under time constraints & the buyer / inspector can only do a certain time. In that case, you 100% should have someone from your office there. Any agent who does not regularly attend inspections with their buyers is not doing their job, plain & simple.

I attend all of my buyer's inspections. My buyer and I typically go at the end of the inspection and our inspector walks us around the entire property pointing out any/all pertinent items. I've found this method to work the best. This allows the inspector to focus and do his job while still allowing us to walk the entire property. If a buyer wants attend the entire inspection that's fine but the strong majority of buyers prefer showing up at the end. 

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I always attend my buyer's inspection, some buyer's agents prefer not to but this always baffles me, beacause 1, you are making sure the inspector is actually conducting the inspection accordingly, I have a realtor friend that had an inspector go to the house that she was representing the buyer and the buyer nor the agent were able to attend, the inspector had lied that he went into a crawl space, but alas, the home had cameras and they saw he did not make any attempt, but he had written on the report that he went into the crawl space, now, I am not saying that it always happens but it does sometime, so you have to be careful with that. I even drove and hour and 30 minutes to be present at an inspection on a Saturday morning mind you. These is part of our job, if you can't be there at least ask a fellow agent to attend for you. I would even go further and say that as a listing agent you need to attend the inspection as well. You are giving your clients a disservice if you don't.

When representing buyer's I'm always attending home inspections. Its a good way to head off any surprises. Plus you are representing your client's interest. 

 For buyers, I always recommend they attend. I recommend that they follow the inspector and I recommend that they ask questions. They can get a whole wealth of information about their new home.

If I could not attend a first time buyer's inspection on an iffy house I would most likely trade in a favor for another agent to be there, for questions for my buyer's, or to give me feedback...our market's "first time homes" are getting higher and higher priced = lesser and lesser affordable homes... fully believe it's our fiduciary responsiblity to help our clients in foreign territory!

I've attended every inspection inspection except for one that I was unable to make but spoke with the inspector (and client) throughout and said it was the cleanest inspection he has done-which was what we were expecting(on a well maintained home). 

I guess I'm the minority with Angela here but not for the same reason even though I don't disagree with her reasoning, she is right. I'm not worried about liability, I just think it's a waste if time. Apparently everyone thinks I'm lazy and a bad agent but my buyers never say that. 

I set the expectation up front that the inspector will provide a full report and a detailed list with photos and video in addition to making himself available for questions. 

Do I NEED to look at the water stain on the ceiling and provide my opinion on how it got there? How about my opinion on the age of the HVAC/roof/water heater? Does looking at the deck and how it's attached to the house or the wiring in the electric panel provide insight to anyone?? Well I think that looks horrible/not that bad/fixable ..... Who cares what I/you think? 

I have no license or training or expertise in home inspections and no business chiming in on things I should not be commenting on. Honestly buyer's know how they feel about the report and what they want fixed. To me it's crazy to think an agent is helping anyone. My inspector says the best he can hope for is to distract the buyers parents or the homeowner from making too many comments and asking too many questions while he is trying to do his job. Come on what value does a realtor who knows nothing about construction bring to the table? Making the buyer feel safe with you there? Why moral support? 

Tell them the report will be in their email in 24 hours and you can go over it together and put the list together and go get some work done instead...

Don't tell anyone but the buyer doesn't need to be there either... Omg blasphemy 😂😂😂

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