New company policy: Stay away during the home inspection

Real Estate Agent with REMAX River Cities

It is not totally official, yet.  It looks like my broker will be coming up with the policy asking us to stay away during the whole house inspection.  The wording will be something along the lines of "Go to the home, make sure everyone is there, make any necessary introductions, leave.

This is one time that I am ahead of the game.  I really do not think it is my place to attend home inspections. 

Do you think otherwise?  If you do let me turn it around.

Say you are at a listing appointment but the home inspector is there too.

You are going over your skillfully prepared CMA...halfway through the inspector yells out "hey I've found two breakers in the panel that are double tapped! 

Two minutes later the inspector says " looks like the electric sub-panel is wired incorrectly"

As you go over the marketing plan with the seller the inspector butts in "hey, you want me to take some air samples?  You may have a mold problem!!"

The client is paying the inspector, let the inspector do his/her job.

If your client really wants you there...go but keep your mouth shut.

Comments (12)

Edward Bachman
Your Kingwood TX Realtor

I go if my client wants me to, otherwise, I am not there.  If I go, my yap is shut, at least while the inspection is being conducted.  One critical key is to suggest to your buyers the names of inspectors that you know and trust and that do a good job.  More often than not, if the buyer is doing an inspection which we always suggest, they are going to ask you if you know of a good one anyway.  Certainly, you do not want an inspector to avoid the obvious but on the other hand, you want someone who is professional and reasonable.  I swear that some inspectors intentionally sabotage things in order to grandstand.  We used to say that if we can get through the inspection, we are usually golden with the rest of the deal.  Now, the inspection is a smaller thing and getting through the lender side is the challenge.

Jul 01, 2009 04:11 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

In an ABR class, the instructor really hammered on that very point.  It creates a lot of unnecessary liability - and I have to fight the urge every single time!

Jul 01, 2009 04:12 PM
LLoyd Nichols
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL - Fort Myers, FL
Southwest Florida Homes By The Sea

Chuck: I think its better to keep out of the inspector's hair. Like Kent I get the urge to be there, but unless asked I keep away. So I agree with you.

Jul 01, 2009 04:21 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I don't see a reason to be there, and it has nothing to do with liability.  I open the door and come back.  The buyer has a right to be there, but I discourage them to 'shadow' the inspector.  They have a job to do and it drags them down when every step they take, the buyer asks "What's this?"  One time I came back to the inspection only to find my client ON THE ROOF!  Yes he was!  He couldn't trust the inspector enough to do their job?!?  He had to follow the guy on the roof!  I was very annoyed with the inspector for allowing this.  But, I guess when two guys get together, they want to out-guy each other.  The buyer needed to show the inspector he's not affraid to get up on the roof?!?  Who knows . . .

Jul 01, 2009 04:26 PM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

I attend all my inspections as a buyer's agent. I am the one that will be filling out the inspection response form so I do think I need to know what I am talking about. We also can't leave an inspector or a buyer alone in the property per our mls rules.  I of course never interfere with the inspection. I am just an observer.

Jul 01, 2009 04:31 PM
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Chuck: I think this is good advice - let the inspector work!


Jul 01, 2009 04:46 PM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Chuck: I'd agree with your broker. I go and meet everybody, then leave for the inspection and come back at the end to look at any concerns. I think it's important to see the problems yourself if applicable so you can write the best inspection addendum for the client. Great posting.

Jul 01, 2009 04:50 PM
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

We have had such a policy for almost 2 years now.  We provide access only.  Questions are directed to the owner.  We don't direct the inspection or participate in discussions.  We don't assess the importance of the item found or provide repair estimates.

We also have a policy about attending appraisal inspections.  We had a former agent who started to show an appraiser the floors that were being repaired under a warranty claim with the general contractor in a unit that was unrelated to the inspection.  She then rattled off flooring options.  It is a loft and the floors are concrete.  We do provide options for upgrades - but the units are 100% complete as is.  The appraisal came back with a note "flooring not complete."  Somehow the appraiser was under the impression that flooring finish was to be installed.  The time associated with getting the appraisal revised almost cost the buyers their interest rate lock.

Jul 01, 2009 05:52 PM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I'm really not agreeing with that.

Why would you want to stay away from the inspection?

The inspection report is a required document for the transaction, so it's probably better that you know the details first hand so that you can help you clients deal with negotiating any major issues.

You're not responsible for any of the repairs, anyway.

You're just there to help advise as to how to get through any repair issues.

Jul 01, 2009 06:09 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I go, I read my paper or do paperwork but at the end when the inspector offers the highlight page, I perk up so that I can help the buyer with the request for fixing the problems. That is the way it was explained to me at my ABR class.

Jul 02, 2009 04:12 AM
Chuck Capan
REMAX River Cities - Moline, IL
REALTOR Licensed In IL. - Moline Homes Quad Citie

Thanks to all for commenting. 

I score it 3 Yes and 7 No so far.

Jo - Your MLS rules prohibit inspectors and buyers be alone in the house?  That seems unusual.  In my market all inspectors are State licensed and some of the inspectors are affiliate members of our local board.  Whole house Inspectors and termite guys usually have keypads for our keysafes.  Are you also required to attend termite inspection too?

Jul 02, 2009 06:22 AM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

Chuck, my MLS does not allow an inspector to become an "affiliate member" of our board.  They have no access on their own so per our rule... I guess we could if we had a seller's approval - but there is no way as a buyer's agent I am going to ask the seller to allow the inspector and buyer in the home unattended. :)

---> Furthermore, no key holder shall leave any other person who is not also a key holder unattended at a listed property without the seller’s permission.

Jul 04, 2009 08:56 AM