What do you want and/or expect out of your home inspector?

Home Inspector with Advance Look Building Inspections and Environmental Testing

As an agent, when you are representing a buyer, do you recommend a home inspection? If so, I have a few questions.

Why do you recommend a particular inspector, or do you give your client a list of names?

Is price or quality of inspection your primary deciding factor?

Besides being prompt, courteous, thorough, and hopefully not scaring the heck out of your clients, what do you expect the home inspector to do?

Does your inspector follow-up with you and your clients regularly?
        If so, is it to sell more services or informational? Do you like this?

The reason I decided to ask these questions is I just got back from a lunch with one of our best referring agents to discuss some of these issues. One of the things they really like is being able to call us after the inspection to discuss our findings. They appreciate the way we put some of our findings in perspective. We always try to do this while with the client on the inspection, but after they read our report, they udoubtedly get scared by some of the wording we need to put into our report. Do you, as the agent generally know what items from your inspection report you will use to negotiate? Or would you like your inspector to give recommendations on what is worth negotiating for?

Home inspections were originally designed to simply inform the new homeowner the conditions of their home before they purchase it. It has now become a negotiating tool. Do you recommend getting an inspection simply for negotiating purposes?

Do you as a listing agent price the home knowing you will have to negotiate after the inspection?

Most of these questions are in an effort to offer the best overall service to our clients and their agents. Some of these questions are because I am curious. I would appreciate any and all feedback, even if you are not a real estate agent.


Comments (3)

Vera Gleason
KW Vaca Valley - Vacaville, CA
Determined to Move You in Solano County

Yes, I always recommend a home inspection.  Our dosclosures to buyers also recommend inspectons.  I always provide the client with at least 3 home inspectors to contact and ask them to decide.  The inspectors I provide are ones  I know of personally or who have been highly recommended by agents I respect.

Personally I look for an inspector who is thorough and takes a lot of pictures.  I know that is something my clients want too.  I also look for an inspector who has been in the business for at least 5 years.  That isn't always necessary, but is something my clients request.  The inspector I use the most is easily reached on the phone and will discuss his findings with me and the client as necessary.  Price of the inspection is usually important to my clients, but I want the best available regardless of price.  As far as a negotiating tool, an inspection is helpful, but not necessary.  I use an inspection primarily to inform and protect both buyers and sellers.  Even when I know a home will be sold "as is" an inspection will let buyers know exactly what they are in for.

Jun 25, 2007 07:54 AM
Ruth Ann Mertens-Oklahoma City Real Estate
Paradigm AdvantEdge Realty - Oklahoma City, OK

Having a great home inspector is essential!  We are not able to "steer" clients to a particular inspector, but can offer them a list of names, stating that these are inspectors who have worked with us in the past.  Usually, the client does not know an inspector and wants the agent to set up the inspection, of course. 

Quality of the inspection is certainly the most important factor, rather than cost, although most inspectors here do not differ in price that much.  If you take into account the many thousands of dollars a good inspection can save a client, the price of an inspection is so little!

Certainly the results of the inspection can have a great impact on negotiations, as the cost of repairs can be a significant factor affecting both the buyer and the seller.  Many factors may influence what particular repairs are requested, but obviously the cost of the repair is a primary consideration.

Jun 25, 2007 07:56 AM
Highland Beach Condos David Serle
RE/MAX Services - Highland Beach, FL
Boca Raton Agent David Serle
I like a home inspector not be an alarmist.  I want him to go over the major functional problems with the homes, but when explaining the problems with the home especially the minor ones I want him to define which is a real problem, and which is something you do not have to worry about.  I know because of liability they do not like to do that, but I prefer an inspector that is nice, fair, and honest.
Jun 25, 2007 07:58 AM