This time I would like to talk about who should attend the inspection. I work all over the Oklahoma City Metro area and have noticed differences in how the home inspection is handled from one side of town to the next. One difference that stands out in my mind is the people attending the inspection. On one side of town, 90% of the time the only people at the inspection will be the buyers and their agent. On the other side of town most of the time there will be the buyers and their agent as well as the sellers and their agent. Many times there will be not only those people but the parents, friends, kids, etc.
Now don't get me wrong, I am a family man and love to see close nit families and people that care about what is going on. However, I would like to bring up some of the pros and cons to these two approaches. Buying a home is an exciting time and everyone is happy and wanting to show off their new home to get approval from family and friends. That is one of the fun things about buying a home. Mom wants to go over the décor and what can be done to make it your own and pops wants to check things out to see if he thinks the house is in good condition and worth the price. This is all well and good but from my experience these are things that should be done at another time other than the inspection.
As a seasoned veteran of thousands of inspections, I have seen what can go wrong in these situations. A home inspection can be an anxious time for the buyers and especially the sellers for obvious reasons. Many buyers do not feel comfortable with the sellers there because they do not feel as free to look around more or talk about their thoughts on the home. A home inspection is a fairly invasive procedure and sellers sometimes feel violated because the inspector is looking under their cabinets, in their closets, and pretty much everywhere. They are also worried about what might be found and can sometimes become defensive if the inspector finds things they were not aware of or don't understand.
The inspector needs to pay close attention to many many details when performing a good inspection. Distractions like sellers, kids, or dad following them around talking can cause the inspector to get sidetracked or lose the train of thought causing something to be overlooked. It can also be a tense time when the inspector gives the verbal report and the sellers are there because the buyers will usually not ask many questions or say much as they are not comfortable with the setting. Occasionally the seller will become visibly upset and cause somewhat of a scene.
The pros to having the sellers at the inspection are that the sellers can get a better understanding of what will be in the report and the inspector can sometimes get questions answered about the home that they are curious about. The buyers can also find out a lot about the home and neighbors from the sellers while talking during the inspection.
There are pros and cons to the different approaches. I can and have dealt with it from nobody at the inspection to 12 people there. My personal preference is for the buyers, their agent, and maybe the seller's agent to be the only people at the inspection. This allows me to concentrate only on my work and providing my undivided attention to my clients. It is undoubtedly easier to do a thorough job that way and everyone involved is more comfortable. After all, the entire reason for the inspection is to discover the true condition of the home and all the other hoopla can be done at other times. The seller can call us if they have questions or concerns after they have read the report. Won't say which side of town does what, but it is odd how the process has evolved in different ways even within the same metropolis. Each probably believes their way is beneficial and there are advantages to both. However, if you put a truth serum in all the home inspectors they would likely say they prefer less people at the inspection.