Should seller be present for the inspection?

deegeAugust 28, 2007

The buyers have scheduled the inspection for tomorrow at noon. Should I stick around or leave?

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In my area, it is customary for the seller not to be home. The buyer is the one paying for the inspection and most inspectors will let you know in their own way, they don't need your assistance or want your input.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 8:13PM
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I've bought and sold in Chicago and St. Paul, MN and in both places, the seller leaves. Linda is right - you'll find out the outcome.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 9:05PM
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Where I live, it can be either way, it's up to the seller.

For the house I was buying, the seller stuck around and actually was very helpful. He answered a lot of questions the inspector, or we had, without us having to write them down and wait on our agent to get to his agent to give us answers.

For the house that we were selling, we did not stay for the inspection, since we were selling 'as is'. The HI got a lot of things wrong, which we settled by just forwarding documentation to prove he was wrong.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 9:00AM
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In my house transactions in Iowa, the seller has never been present, nor have I as a seller been present. I agree that since the buyer is paying for the inspection, the seller really has no right to be there even though it's his/her house.

"The HI got a lot of things wrong, which we settled by just forwarding documentation to prove he was wrong."

I'm just curious...what things did he find "wrong"?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 9:44AM
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The HI told the buyers our cooktop was nonfunctional. It was an induction cooktop, and worked fine. The HI didn't understand you need to put a pot on the burner before it will heat. He told the buyers our hot water heater was a rental from the city, and that they would be charged for it monthly. It was a two month old hot water heater that we had bought and had receipts for. He told the homeowners that the insulation around our basement pipes was encapsulated asbestos, we had redone all the plumbing in it when we bought it in 2002, so there was definitely no asbestos. He told the buyers that the downstairs windows were all nailed shut and would have to be replaced. The house is from the 1860's and the hardware on the windows does include something that looks like a nail on the side. It's actually the top of a spring that you push down on to release the window so it will open and close.

As far as the seller having no right to be in the house during inspection, even though it's their house... I don't know about that. Yeah, the buyer is paying for the inspection, but they don't own the house and might not ever own it. I've seen horror stories on this forum about buyers having all their family and friends running all over the house while the inspection is going on. Had I read all that when we were selling, I may have camped on the front lawn in a folding chair and read a novel during our inspection if our realtor wasn't going to be present.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 10:48PM
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On the assumption that the buyer has selected a fairly competent HI, what can a seller contribute to the HI's findings?
Most sellers will not be present. But the seller does not have to leave the home, but could be in the vicinity if they so desire. Just understand, anything you say as a seller can and will be used against you....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 11:37PM
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It doesn't make a difference if you are present at the inspection or not. Just go about your business and don't follow them around. We were at home during 2 different HI for homes we sold. I read my book during one and did some gardening at another. It's your home if you want to be there when the inspection happens for whatever reason you can. Who pays for it has nothing to do with it. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 2:12AM
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when we were selling our home, i made it clear to my realtor that i expected him to be present during the home inspection. i looked to him to be my representitive. if there were any questions, then he could call me. around here, the seller does not stick around. if i were the buyer i would request that the home owner leave, or rather i would have my realtor request to the other realtor that the home owner not be present.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 5:20AM
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Around here it is customary for the seller's agent to be present during the inspection.

We bought FSBO, so, since there was no agent, the seller was home for the inspection (until she got peeved that it was taking too long and finally left to go back to work).

I found it very annoying as she followed us everywhere, downplaying and making smart-alec comments about things the inspector was finding, but the HI was a good sport and continued on as if she wasn't there.

It turned out to have worked in our favor. Because she heard every little thing he found (all of which was very minor and not a concern to us), they were afraid we were going to come back to them with a list a mile long. They were more than happy to accommodate the one repair request we actually had.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 6:49AM
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If you are still living in the house, with all your stuff, then I absolutely would be there. I wouldn't follow the guy around, but I would definitely not leave the buyer, HI, or anyone else I don't personally know in my home alone for 3 plus hours.

It may be slightly different if your home is empty, and you are not living there anymore. But I wouldn not do it.

Until they sign on the dotted line and hand me a check, they are NOT the owner of the home. I am still responsible for everything that happens there.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:22AM
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We were FSBO sellers, so we stayed. It was an older house & the inspector actually had some questions so it worked out OK. When we bought, the house was emply & the sellers were not here.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 9:11AM
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