Buyer found a home inspector from YELP

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

First-time buyer wanted a third opinion by an inspector of his own choosing.

Although there were already two home inspections on file --- one ordered by the seller, and the other by the previous buyer who backed out, he wanted a third inspection done.  The previous inspections were done by inspectors well-known and well-respected in the local real estate community and have been the go-to guys for such inspections.

Glad he is that careful. And yes, it is certainly the buyer's prerogative to find his own.

The buyer found someone whom he said "came highly recommended".

Recommended by whom?




It's good that the businesses have presence on YELP. And many of them have testimonials.  (I also contribute to YELP especially when it comes to reviewing food even though I'm not a food critic).

Somehow, this didn't foster a good feeling about hiring an inspector for the biggest purchase/investment this home buyer is making, based on reviews from people who probably only have had ONE experience with a property inspector. But again, it's the buyer's choice.

Inspector said let him in, and just come back three hours later.

The inspector told the buyer and the buyer's agent that

  • It will take approximately 3 hours to inspect the property
  • Buyer doesn't have to be there during that time
  • Buyer should come later and inspector will take another hour to walk him through the property and the results of the inspection
    • A 4-hour inspection for a 1200 sq ft, one-level house seems unusually long
  • Other agents have given him the keys to enter the property or let him in. And then they  leave him by himself
    • What agent would allow this, not even having met or used this inspector before?
    • And where is the buyer throughout this inspection?
    • Wasn't it the buyer's intent to walk around with the inspector DURING the inspection?

The inspector seemed hurt and offended when the agent said no, the inspector won't be left alone by himself at the property. He said he's always operated that way, but he won't argue. The agent will be there, and the buyer should be there as well.

Darn tootin' right there won't be any arguments.

Although he seemed to do a decent job, it is appalling that he would even suggest to be left alone at the house.

Trust a stranger but not your own realtor to recommend inspectors?

An even bigger concern is: why buyers (or sellers) won't count on the recommendation of realtors who may have hundreds of experience in selection of inspectors, and instead they rely on the recommendations of strangers who may or may not have even experienced one inspection?



All you need is ONE very good reason why buyers/agents should attend home inspections.

Read Jay Markanich's blog "The inspector broke the dishwasher!"


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John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Pacita -- Great post!  I have an inspector that I like to use all the time. He is well-established and has a great reputation. I recommend him all the time, especially when I represent the Buyer and we want a GOOD inspection. He makes a report that doubles as an operating manual for the home. He likes to work alone, but I have no trouble with that because I know him personally.

WHERE DID YOU GET THE PHOTOS for your post? I am still laughing about the BRAVE penguin.

The photo with the Camel must have been made in Michigan.

Aug 09, 2011 02:35 PM #1
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I can't imagine the buyer not wanting to be there for the home inspection.  That just doesn't seem right to me.

Aug 09, 2011 03:18 PM #2
Stephanie Greenberg
Realty Concepts - Fresno, CA
Fresno Homes For Sale

I always recommend a great team I use for home inspections.  They are husband and wife and one does interior and one does exterior.  They are very patient with first time home buyers.  They take about one hour for a home under 2,000 SF.  I tell the buyer to come the last half hour so they can see the house, measure, etc.  Then when the inspectors are done, they walk the buyer around and point out there findings and email us all the report within a day.  Buyers should usually always be there for inspections.

Aug 09, 2011 03:44 PM #3
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Pacita - I know that most inspectors do like to work alone without anyone tagging along asking questions ALL the time.  Let him/her do the job, then meet up at the end.  BUT..........someone unknown?  I'd at least be at the home if I were the listing agent. 

Aug 09, 2011 04:33 PM #4
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411


I won't allow an unattended inspection of my listing.  At least one of the agents must be present.  Inspectors in CA are completely unlicensed, anyone can call themself a property inspector.

Also Yelp gets undisclosed kickbacks and I don't use them.  A house cleaning company that broke expensive shutters in my seller-client's home and cashed a check they promised not to cash, got Yelp's highest marks.  They were bought.

Try Consumer Checkbook for unbiased, un-purchased reviews.  Yes you have to subscribe, but that's why it works.

Aug 09, 2011 05:59 PM #5
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

Sometimes the Internet is not good for buyer or seller.  If they do not trust us as Realtors then they go to the Internet and pick.  It is often disastrous.

Aug 09, 2011 06:51 PM #6
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

John --- I just believe our opiniont about whom to use for inspections should carry a lot of weight since we go to so many of these inspections and have observed quite a few inspectors.

Kathy --- I can' imaginr the buyer not wanting to attend either.....if I were a first time buyer, I'd want to be there for the whole inspection

Stephanie --- glad you have a good team. Invaluable!

Juli --- most inspectors will be probably prefer to work alone --- but not totally left alone in the house without an agent and the client there.

Lloyd -- i think it is also for CYA purposes that an agent is present during these inspections.

Tim --- non-professional opinion can be suspect in certain situations.

Aug 09, 2011 06:52 PM #7
Richard Yates
Mission Viejo, CA
Broker and Realtor Orange County, California

Pacita, This was an excellent topic and a good bit of insight about Yelp, in your post and comment chain.  I never mind giving the inspector freedom of the house, but, an agent should always be present.  I also encourage the buyers to be present, if possible.  Thank you for sharing and best wishes always.

Aug 09, 2011 08:23 PM #8
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


One may trust a inspector to be at the house all by himself...but the liability if anything should happen to him is on whoever lets him in. It's the agent's responsibility to be there. Bring your laptop, your smartphone and other things you can take to stay productive. But be there!

Aug 09, 2011 08:39 PM #9
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