Do you attend home inspections? Not me. Not even on a bad hair day.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services 0514644

Last time I checked I am a licensed real estate broker.

*SO I DO NOT ATTEND INSPECTIONS!*

(Usually!) The two jobs are defined in a lot of different ways not only to a lot of different consumers, but to different industry professionals, too. This week I read some posts on a pro site by various RE agents that literally cracked me up. At the end of the day, there must be a hundred and one different ways to do this job. Thank goodness my clients like my way. I'm not sure I would enjoy this career the way some of these people are micromanaging handling theirs... I would pull my hair out!

One prime example is inspection time. Now I am well aware our job as a real estate professional is to help the consumer inspect the home. As we are showing it, if we see damaged this or in need of repair that, we should say so. Period. Our job is to highlight the features and disclose defects as we know them in our professional opinion. But we, as professional sales agents, are not the end all, be all. We are only one opinion. And I am also not qualified to micromanage who the buyer has hired to do various other jobs, like appraisals, loans, surveys, and even, yes, inspections.

I realize I am in the minority on this inspection issue. BUT I DO NOT ATTEND INSPECTIONS! The reason I do not attend them is because I AM NOT AN INSPECTOR! He is licensed, last I checked, by the same licensing agency as me! He inspects. I go over the report with my buyer and we together determine who to call for pro opinion whether it be on Foundation, HVAC, plumbing, roof, or electrical. And we ask the seller to make specific repairs based on those findings. But me? I don't need to stick stuff in electrical sockets or watch him do it! And you bet my buyer usually has better things to do for 4-6 hours than look at the water in the sink as it goes down the drain! Besides:

The report details everything he found to be not in working order with pictures. If we have questions, we call him. If we have concerns about any system, we call a pro who specializes. It's just that simple.

People who want to attend want to be sure the inspector did his job. I understand. They may also want to go over the report at the end. I understand. They may want to watch the whole thing or they may want to review it with him his last 20 minutes in there. All that is fine. But me? I don't really care to be there because the inspector is only doing this: "See here, here is an item not in working order..." And about 7 or 8 times out of 10 I already told the buyer that because I know when that code was passed making it not to code or I can see that light bulb is burned out. It's so often just not a big deal beyond Draino or a roof nail. And when it is. I call the pro in the know.

BECAUSE HERE IS THE NOT-SO-SECRET:

THE INSPECTOR MAY NOT KNOW PRECISELY WHAT THE PROBLEM REALLY IS NOR THE SOLUTION! JUST THAT IT DOESN'T WORK PROPERLY!

That's primarily why I don't attend them. If he said there is an issue with the AC, I call the AC guy and that's the dude I care to hear hot air from most! If the inspector said the home is unlevel, well, I would already have vertigo and have the engineer on the horn. I really don't need to "be there" to "do that" but many people feel they need to be and that is ok, too!

Again, I realize I'm in the minority on this inpection attendance thing. One person on another site said it was lazy not to attend. Wowza. I would agree she works hard, all right. But smart? To her she does. Agents just LOVE to attend. Some people's buyers LOVE to attend. I am so glad my buyers are usually too busy to attend. Heck, half the time they aren't even in the same county. They hired someone and they trust them to do his job and they trust they can handle what is reported or they wouldn't have written a contract and posted earnest money and slid their credit card for that inspection in the first place. By the time my buyers get that far and have equitable title on a place, there is nothing that inspection will reveal we didn't already know or we didn't already suspect or we can't work out 99% of the time. To be honest, deal breakers are usually obvious before I walk in the door. Maybe that's just experience talking... I don't know.

BUT THIS PRO DOESN'T HAVE TO GO TO KNOW! THE REPORT IS GOLD!

Posted by

Kristen Correa Real Estate

Comments (97)

Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

CJ - we CAN go. We chose to be somewhere else. It's a choice.

Morgan - thanks for commenting! Last sold home for me... I rep'd seller. Seller is at work. I am at work. Inspector inspects. We get a list of to-dos. We hash a little with buyer and buyer agent on the phone or email. No one was there but the licensed inspector at the time of inspection. In Texas, that's ok. He's licensed. He did his job. Then the agents did theirs. No one had to be in any one spot at any one time. It works for some of us really well. And we still have low fallout rates and high referral rates?! Interesting to say the least how we are all successful in our own ways.

Nina. Agreed. I don't like watching paint dry, either. It's between buyer and his pro inspector. I help when they aren't licensed and don't have a key and buyer needs help finding pros to bid the work etc. and have plenty of time to work in ways that... work.

May 01, 2013 07:27 AM
Frank Harper
Idaho Family Real Estate - Boise, ID
Broker/Owner, Realtor, GRI, SFR.

I open the door and I'm gone! I don't want anything to do with them until I get the report!

May 01, 2013 07:30 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Kristen ... Like your to the point, say it like it is and no pussy footing. Sense of humor on a comment about how to grow some caught my attention in cross platform comment. Great post!

May 01, 2013 07:45 AM
Karen Hurst
RICOASTALLIVING.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I always attend the inspections when I am representing the buyer. One, because they want me there! I have to say the inspections can be boring and time consuming, but I consider it an essential part of my representation. Some of those reasons have already been brought up in the comments.  I do not follow the inspector around but I do ask questions and make sure the buyer understands that not everything is a problem.  Its really a courtesy to the buyerk, especially first time buyers who do not understand all the intricasies of the buying process and who have not owned a home before. I also have been around houses and know quite a lot about plumbing, electrical etc so I am able to answer some of their questions.

May 01, 2013 08:01 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Frank. Thx. My guy knows how to open the door, too :) In Texas, they have access just like I do so I can go off and, you know, put my feet on a table somewhere and do not work at all!? Or do something else besides be a doorman!

Andrew... uh oh. I must have said I used to be a man again or something.

Karen - that's awesome! Best wishes!

May 01, 2013 08:08 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Sometimes after an inspection, while you have everyone who counts in the same room (not the inspector), you can just work out some issues and not get the attorneys involved. They make everything so complicated.

May 01, 2013 10:23 AM
Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area

It all depends on the client. Some like to be there the whole time, some like to meet up with the inspector at the property when he is done to go over things, and some want us to be there as well. I think in the end it doesn't really hurt at all to be there if your cient prefers it that way, it can only make them appreciate and trust you more.

May 01, 2013 10:29 AM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.
Personally I like to attend home inspections. I have learned a great deal by listening to the inspectors over the years. I don't insert myself into the process but I am there. I also find that it is easier and faster to discuss what repairs to ask for immediately following the inspection even before we get the report. I also have never had a buyer not attend - they also learn so much about their potential home during the inspector. My preferred inspector uses the time to show the buyer some of the more critical items like main water shut off, etc.
May 01, 2013 11:48 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Jill - never had legal involvement (that I know of) and usually do have to clarify something with an inspector (but doesn't ever have to be onsite) and it can be complicated. One of the many reasons I don't like to do it johnnny-on-the-spot. Let us take our time...

May 01, 2013 10:13 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Trisha and Stacey - agreed, follow your client's favor often... but I like to review them offsite for many of the same reasons. Taking it offsite is literally a bit of a chill pill for all. It allows you to talk with your buyer without the seller being there or walking in on it. It allows you to call inspector back, say, while he's typing it up vs. onsite, there are also plenty of opportunities to serve the client in alternative ways. The thing is, when you are used to doing it one way and haven't tried another... you know why you do it that way. But... there just might be an equally effective, yet, easier way. I find this to be so much better. But I'm the only one, it looks like!!

May 01, 2013 10:17 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Kristen, clarifying my original comment (#37), and your answer (#50), I meant that buyers benefit by being there to ask questions in real time as they go through the house with the inspector - not the buyer agent knowing to ask the right questions.

May 01, 2013 10:54 PM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Good point, Brian. I have experienced this from all angles and find they have the deer in the headlights look a lot less when removed from site, but I am in the minority and that is ok!

May 01, 2013 11:39 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Kristen - I couldn't disagree with you more but that's what makes the world go 'round, right?   As independent contractors we have a choice how we run our business and I believe for me that includes attending the inspection.  Yes, I have introduced myself to a buyers' inspector when I represent a seller even if I don't stay the entire time  -- the sellers deserve someone to be their representative when someone is in their home too -- in some cases I am the only one there with the inspector -- how did the selling agent think the inspector would gain access?    I don't interfere with the inspector -- let him/her do the job the buyer is paying them to do.   Just my two cents...

May 02, 2013 02:52 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Hi Michael! Another Cali answer means another inspector who isn't licensed and doesn't have a key, right?! Here in Texas they are licensed and have access like I do. All a buyer onsite will do is distract or get scared of what is not really that scary. I can't watch a surgery, either. I don't like guts of people or houses, in person. But that's just me! Figure out what to do to fix stuff, I'm ok with that, but me and my buyers are ok not SEEING it in person. Just get together to determine a solution to SAID problems, not necessarily SEEN problems. I hear you guys, though. I'm different.

May 02, 2013 02:56 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Kristen - the "key" is not the issue, representation is --- again, as I orginally started my comment - it's an individual agent choice to attend/not attend.    I let my clients(both sellers/buyers) know of the level of representation they can expect.  Unless the circumstances(time, distance) make it difficult/impossible to attend, I urge my buyers to be there -- perhaps not the entire time but certainly at the end for the recap and to ask any questions.  Some inspectors have a better bedside manner than others and some things end up in a report sound much worse than when presented in person.   

May 02, 2013 03:10 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

And for me time, distance, laziness, is not the issue. We go over the findings fine from wherever we are! Thank you for the comment!

May 02, 2013 03:14 AM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Kristen,

 

Can I get an Amen? Damn straight sista, I don't go to them either. I refuse to stand around for 3.5 hours watching butt crack and chewing the fat.

Let the inspector do his job! We'll get a report with photo's. Glad I found this post!!!!!!!

May 02, 2013 02:09 PM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

No inspector needs or wants a realtor and set of buyers leaning over his shoulder asking questions and making comments about his tools.. "Can I hold your flashlight?"

May 02, 2013 02:12 PM
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

I only go because my clients expect me to, but if I had a choice then I wouldn't because it's an extreme waste of time for me.  I have no input, nor do I want any.  It is nothing more than moral support.

May 03, 2013 03:52 AM
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!
Kristen, I agree with every word you wrote. I like for my buyer and the inspector to have that one-on-one contact and for the inspector to explain everything to the buyer directly. The buyer is paying the inspector good money, and should use this time together to ask questions.
May 03, 2013 01:22 PM