Buyer Should Disclose WHO Their Inspector Is With Offer...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass 0524642

Last week one of my listings went under contract and the other agent (one who represents the buyer) dropped a bomb on me. His buyer elected to use ScarryHomeInspections. Just about every agent in Houston knows that ScarryHomeInspections types up on average an 80-100 page report. The inspection is so OVERloaded with useless information that it confuses buyers & kills contracts 

Unfortunately the buyers agent was new to the business and he was unaware of the reputation that this inspector has around town. 

Everyone wants a full report with photo's. The more detailed and "to the point" the better. There's no need for multiple paragraphs and 9 photo's to discuss a broken garbage disposal, which is exactly how this company works. 

It brings up this very simple question: Can and should sellers ask who the inspector will be during the negotiations of a contract? If so, should or could a buyer be held and bound to use one specific inspector that they (the buyer) has agreed to use?

This problem is also very real when we talk about mortgages. There's times when a buyer has submitted their offer with the use of a local credit union only to switch to a huge bank like Chase or Wells Fargo. Clearly the seller (and listing agent) would have viewed the offer much differently if the buyer had submitted the offer originally with Chase versus the local credit union.

Posted by
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass 
Direct & Text 7 days a wk: 832-298-8555 
Realtor since 2004
Mediator & Arbitrator for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Member of the Professional Standards Committee for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Arbitrator for the Comptroller's office for the State of TX for Arbitration of Property Tax Values

 Member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame & Platinum Club


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Comments (12)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Trust is very important, and carefulness is equally important as well. It's important to strike that balance. Good luck!

Mar 23, 2016 01:03 PM
Lina Robertson
Century 21 Integrity Group - Springfield, MO
REALTOR® Serving Springfield, Nixa and Ozark, MO

Whoa!  It's as if you were writing this one directly to me.  I JUST went through this today on one of my own listings.  So frustrating! 

And YES!  I think it's a GREAT idea to require that disclosure at the time of the offer.  You might be brilliant, Greg. 

Mar 23, 2016 01:30 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

I think it is a big risk for the seller and their agent to become involved with whom the buyer selects.  It's all contractual.  There terms and conditions are spelled out in the sales agreement.  Read it and understand the legal ramifications.  Real estate is all legal, legal, legal.  So whatever the contract states, that's what the buyers/sellers agreed to.  Risk management is a skill.

Mar 24, 2016 06:20 AM
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top 0.33 of 1% of 79,000 AZ Realtors

Oh did you just bring back nightmare memories!   I had one particular inspector kill a $3.2m deal!  Then he turned around and killed two other deals ($150k and $254k)  for me too!   I hope to never see him again!  

Mar 23, 2016 03:47 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED

But, eventually the properties sold, correct?  To the listing agent, it's too bad, but for the buyer . . . it's even worse.  

Mar 24, 2016 06:18 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Greg. This is a really good question. Unfortuneately, few agents can control their clients ultimate choices.

Mar 23, 2016 11:24 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The seller's agent can bark all they want about ho would be doing the inspections,etc, but at the end of the day t push a provider away from a client would be a steering violation.  Suck it up and do the best you can is all that you have available to you.  At the end, if it gets testy, ask the agent to consult with their broker who may be able to enlighten the agent if appropriate.

Mar 23, 2016 11:33 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Greg, There's one or two inspectors in our area that I hope come nowhere near our listings.  Too much opinion, not enough fact, and delivered in a way that scares the hell out of the buyers and turns molehills into mountains.  I have no problem with having a long list of findings if they're legit, but presentation can go a long ways towards having the buyers running for the hills or being okay with working something out.

Mar 23, 2016 11:53 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Two words:  Risk Management

If you are suggesting that the Seller (your client) has anything to do with the selection of the home inspector/inspection company . . . yeah, good luck with that.

It's frustrating, to be sure when Scary Home Inspector Co. is the inspector the BUYER selected.  But it's their call . . . not yours and not your clients.  

Next, we have the word "negotiate."  If the seller and buyer can't come to terms with the buyer repair addendum requests, tsk tsk.  It shouldn't matter that there is 90 pages, it's about what the seller is willing to do, or not do.  I don't like alarmists, myself.  When there are 9 photos to illustrate the broken garbage disposal, I just wonder what type of meds the dude is taking!  

Mar 24, 2016 06:17 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Transparency is everything in life and in business and nothing will ever change that fundamentally, in my opinion.

Mar 24, 2016 04:42 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Risk management is a vital aspect of so many projects, I agree. it does take a lot of care in time to get it right.

Mar 24, 2016 04:43 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I think in some places inspectors don't even need to be licensed --- while I think that should change, I think you get into really gray area when deciding just how much information and education about a property a buyer should have.

Re: use of a lender, I think changing the lender mid-process should have more impact than it currently does --- if a lender is listed on the contract, and it changes, there should, at minimal, be an explanation for the change, and the seller should be allowed some options at that point.  That said, if all dates are met and no unnecessary headaches are created, who cares?

Mar 29, 2016 06:45 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I hope the buyers agent enjoys explaining everything the scaryhomeinspections types up.... poor guy.

Apr 05, 2016 08:24 AM