Home Inspectors Should Not Be Involved In Negotiations
Personally, I have all I can do to do my job as a certified, licensed Professional Home Inspector in North Texas without getting involved with real estate deal negotiations. But, I have earned a lot of new business in the last six months because of inspectors who get themselves involved in the buying and selling negotiation process. More often than not, they are at odds with the Realtors. And, are also often the inspectors who scare the buyer or seller to death with poor communication skills.
Nowhere in the Texas Standards of Practice for home inspectors does it say that a home inspector should be involved with the negotiation process. Here is what the Texas Standards of Practice does say about our job as home inspectors, “These standards of practice define the minimum levels of inspection required for substantially completed residential improvements to real property up to four dwelling units. A real estate inspection is a limited visual survey and basic operation of the systems and components of a building using normal controls and does not require the use of specialized tools or procedures. The purpose of the inspection is to provide the client with information regarding the general condition of the residence at the time of inspection. The inspector may provide a higher level of inspection performance than required by these standards of practice and may inspect parts, components, and systems in addition to those described by the standards of practice.”
Although home inspectors are often referred by real estate agents to buyers and sellers, we in fact work for our client, the buyer or seller of the property. We schedule an inspection, answer questions about the property, perform an inspection, deliver a report to the client, review the report with the client and, sometimes the agent. That is our job. It is not our job to try to convince or dissuade the client from buying or selling a property. We can help answer some questions about How To Use A Home Inspection Report, but the buying and selling real estate agents are the negotiators, not the inspector.
Now, I am often asked by the client, “what is your opinion of the house? Should I buy it?”. My answer to my clients is, “I recommend that you review the inspection report and the defects with your real estate agent. He/She is best suited to help you make that decision based on the inspection report findings. I am happy to answer any questions about the property condition.”
In addition, I believe that good real estate agents know their client well enough to know if they will be able to afford the repairs or improvements that a given home needs. The Realtor should know the client well enough to be trusted as their advisor. You see, the agent has the longest lasting relationship with the client. As a home inspector, I normally meet the client at the property, once.
I am not a real estate agent. I am a certified, licensed Professional Home Inspector. I do my job and try hard not to be part of the negotiations. But if you are a home inspector who does get involved in the negotiation process, thank you for sending me your business.