Is the buyer's agent normally there during the inspection?

jenesOctober 26, 2010

Is the buyer's agent normally there during the inspection? I didn't think that was the norm. Is there any state where the buyer's agent *must* be there during the inspection? Thanks.

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cordovamom

Somebody has to let the inspector in. We've primarily left that up to the buyer's agent since the buyers will probably be present.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 10:13PM
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jane__ny

I was present (seller), Buyers Agent and buyers. I stayed in a room but let them know I was available for questions. I'm glad I stayed.

Jane

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:54AM
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kats_meow

In the last several inspections I've been involved in (as seller or as buyer) the buyer's agent wasn't there for the entire thing but in some instances was there part of the time (mostly just a checking in sort of thing). Typically the people present have been seller, inspector, and buyer.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:46AM
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mary_md7

My agent and I (buyer) were there but the seller and their agent were not.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:39PM
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chrisk327

at mine were the seller(me), my agent, the buyers agent, the buyers, and their parents... ohh and the inspector.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 6:27PM
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scrapbookheaven

For my sale, the inspector and the buyers got in with the key box. About half way through the inspection, I got a call from my agent. They had called him because they couldn't get in under the kitchen sink to inspect. I went over (I was taking refuge at a neighbor's house) and showed them how to open the magnetic child proof (and sometimes adult proof) lock. I stayed for the rest of the inspection.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:03AM
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gardenspice

Last sell, I think just the inspector was there. Wish I had been there, as he could not figure out that window had to unlocked before cranking it open and he marked it inoperable.
Last Buy, our agent was here as was my better half.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 3:13PM
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Gina_W

The sellers, their agents, me and my agent were all present - it was a veritable party!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:12PM
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worthy

I've always been there as a seller to answer questions. For the inspection, sometimes the inspector has been there by himself; last time, the buyer, agent and inspector were present.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 10:14PM
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jenes

Thanks everyone, I guess just about any combination of people can be expected. Maybe I should be looking at bigger houses.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 7:09AM
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ncrealestateguy

If the agent is worth a grain of salt, they will be there so they can fully understand what the inspector is seeing.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 8:54AM
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marys1000

As a buyer I would feel inhibited by the seller or the sellers agent being there. If they want to wait out in the driveway fine. If they want the buyers agent there to make sure nothing is damaged fine.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 11:55AM
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berniek

Around here it depends. As a buyers agent I attend the inspection by staying out of the way and asking/answering questions later.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspections

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 1:13PM
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krycek1984

As a buyer, I would not particularly enjoy having the seller there. Half the point of the inspection is to pick up on stupid crap that the sellers didn't do or did do.

My realtor (i was a buyer) was there for about an hour during the inspection and then she had to leave. It worked out well.

I personally would insist on not having the seller there.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:48PM
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jenes

My own preference would be just me and the inspector, but of course someone needs to let us in. I would hope other attendees would not follow us around the house.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 6:41AM
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worthy

I personally would insist on not having the seller there.

To which I would say to the agent, "Tell them to go buy something else. It's my house."

But I would stay way in the background unless they needed a question answered.

Some of these inspectors are frankly idiots. One turned off my a/c on the hottest summer day. A cricket got into the open contacter, so no a/c until I removed it. The average homeowner would be stuck with a repair call. Another wanted to inspect the roof with the usual ladder against the aluminum gutters, thus leaving two neat dents. Instead, I lent him my stand-off brackets.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:30AM
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krycek1984

And to that, I'd say, "There's a million other houses for sale, goodbye".

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:22PM
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chrisk327

"And to that, I'd say, "There's a million other houses for sale, goodbye".

if thats the hill you want to die on fine...

sorry, but you're not kicking me out of my house, especially if you tell me to leave.

I stayed out of the way at my home inspection. The inspector asked me about a dozen questions. Not sure how they get answered if I wasn't there, I'm sure he could figure some out and guess at the others. If an inspection went smoothly I wouldn't care. I've had 3 on my house, 2 offers had financing problems. None of the inspectors were bad, but 1 buyer did try and make a huge issue about something the inspector said was fine during the inspection, just dated. It was nice knowing what the inspector actually said, compared to what the buyer would have had us believe.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:09PM
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earthworm

No way would I wish to have complete strangers tramping thru my house, without supervision, nor do I see the necessity of having the parents at the inspection - they can, however wait in the background....too many cooks......
I have been on the three sides of this fence.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:34PM
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logic

The HI is responsible for inspecting the home...not gaining access and making sure all is locked up properly upon leaving.

In addition, the sellers REA should be on site....or at least the buyers REA. They should have the sellers contact number in the event of any questions that may arise, and also to notify them if a dangerous condition is found by the HI.

I would strongly advise against working with any REA who would hand out lock box combination to the HI, and allow him/her to access the house on their own...with or without the buyers.

Someone has to be responsible for the house in the sellers absence...and that someone should not be the HI or the buyer.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Gina_W

Our seller was there to answer any questions that may have popped up, but he stayed out of the way. The buying and selling agents had to do their own reports (basically a page remarking on anything they found), so at least some locales are now requiring this of agents. It was part of the dozens of papers and reports this transaction created, much more than when I bought my first home ten years ago.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 5:27PM
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ncrealestateguy

Gina,
what state requires a RE agent to act as an unlicensed Home Inspector... even going as far as to have the agent write up a report? I have never heard such a thing... please give details.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 5:58AM
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linda117117

Who is at the home inspection is pretty regional. I have a real estate friend who lives in NC and she said "only" the inspector goes to the house. (Sounds like in NCrealestateguys) area, this may be different. In my area of NY, it is pretty much understood that the sellers are NOT there. If they insist on staying, most inspectors will not give them any info and tell them flat out that they are being paid by the buyer and the information is for the buyers purposes only. (they dont like giving free reports to sellers who arent paying for them)

The buyers agent is also present, for the entire inspection, none of this just "checking in". As far as what Gina said, about agents making their own report about "what they found". I am not qualified to inspect a house no more than I would want the home inspector to start giving advice to my buyer about how to buy the house.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 7:37AM
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logic

linda117: .." they dont like giving free reports to sellers who arent paying for them)"

While that is true, that is not the main reason...in NY, NJ CT and other states as well.

The law precludes the HI from providing such information, as it compromises the buyers interests as the seller can then use that info to make repairs which may or may not be the terms of the purchase contract.

And of course, the report is not the HI's to give. It belongs to the buyer. If the buyer wants to provide that info to another, no one is stopping them from doing so.

In addition, there is a liability issue involved for the HI, as the sellers and/or the REA's can use the report to show to other potential buyers if the deal falls through.

This is done more often than one would imagine, and some unsuspecting buyers will believe that the REA is doing them a favor by providing the report, when it is anything but..

As a home inspection is only relevant to the condition of the home on the day of inspection, the use of the report after the fact by any other party is a disservice to the other party, as well as the HI.

If a buyer purchases a home based upon the report from an earlier inspection performed for a previous buyer, they will have no recourse in terms of a lawsuit against the inspector if something was missed...yet the inspector will have to pay for defense none the less. In addition, it is not a true representation of the home at that time, as anyhting could have happened post inspection.

It is a complex issue that is not as simple as it may seem, which is why most home inspection legislation addresses the issue.

IN NJ, the HI must obtain written permission from the buyer to provide the buyer's attorney with a copy of the report...and ONLY an attorney admitted to the bar in NJ is considered to be the lawful buyers agent...not the REA.

NY law is a bit softer, as it does not define "client representative", but it does state as follows:

"Section 197-4.3 Non-Disclosure

Home inspectors shall not disclose to a third party the contents of a home inspection report or any observations, deductions, opinions that pertain to a home inspection report without the prior consent of the client or the clientâÂÂs representative."

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 4:29PM
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Gina_W

Commiefornia my friends! Read 'em and weep:

Disclosures Required of Real Estate Agents
in the Transfer of Residential Real Property: Visual Inspection

I have copies of this disclosure report from both agents.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 6:36PM
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ncrealestateguy

Gina,
What you are speaking of are Property Disclosure Statements. They are not in any way a part of the Inspection Report.
Also, only the owner(s) are allowed to fill out the Disclosure... never the agent. However, the agent is expected to make sure the answers the owner(s) put down are correct by performing the visual inspection. For example, if the sellers say the basement does not leak, yet the agent sees evidence of prior moisture, it is thier responsibility to bring this to the attention of the Sellers and to get them to disclose the situation, or repair it.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 8:16PM
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linda117117

I have copies of this disclosure report from both agents.

Gina, this is not an inspection report, it is a property disclosure statement. In NY, (at least my region), the agent doesnt get involved in this AT ALL ! I personally give it to the property owner at the time of listing, explain it to them, and tell them to talk to their atty at the time we accept an offer. They dont fill it out, we don't go thru their house, they speak to their attys' on how they want to handle it in their particular sitution. Most atty's in my area, dont want their clients to fill them out. They want them to pay the $500 penalty fee for not filling it out.

Logic: Yes, I quite understand the home inspectors reasons, I was trying not to hijack the thread going off on another subject.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 10:04AM
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raee_gw

If I hadn't been there...well, I had to show the inspector how to operate the propane furnace, the watering system, the wall heaters, the remotely adjustable antennae, and answer questions about the propane tank and septic system. Seems to me that my presence saved a lot of time, or was able to demonstrate that things worked that he would not have tried otherwise.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Gina_W

Here, the sellers had their disclosure, and both agents had theirs. I will dig it up at home and see what they are actually called. They are independent of the Inspection, but both agents had to do one, and both chose to do it during the Inspection. One agent found a small chip in a window and marked that on their report.

I'm friends with my agent now so I will email him to ask what it is and what liability agents have because of it. Sorry to hijack the thread!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 4:23PM
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Gina_W

I got a response back from my agent:

"I donâÂÂt know if this is peculiar to California or not, but both the Listing and Selling agents must to do a visual inspection of the property. It does not have to be done at the same time as the regular home inspection, but must be done as part of all the disclosures that the buyers get. The purpose is to do everything that is humanly possible (or more precisely -practical) to give the buyers as much information about the property before they buy it. The form that we typically complete is called AVID (Agents Visual Inspection Disclosure), but it could be done on any piece of paper."

Here's one I found online (in PDF form) - it does say "California Civil Code" on it. So you agents in other states that don't have to do this YET, heads up! Agents Visual Inspection Disclosure

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 5:03PM
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terriks

Yes, that is peculiar to California. But then, California can be a peculiar place!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 11:52PM
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ottawavalleygardener

gina w, I must be missing something because I don't get the "commiefornia" aspect of it. Why is a visual inspection such an evil thing? (and I looked at the disclosure form; nothing scary there)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 7:02AM
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berniek

"Each agentâÂÂs inspection certification is contained in the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement. In addition to the foregoing, real estate agents must disclose all material facts affecting the value, desirability, and intended use about which they have or should have notice or knowledge that may not be discernable from the required visual inspection.

(Cal. Bus. & Prof. ç 10176(a); Cal. Civ. ç 2079 et. seq.)"

The problem with that requirement is, the added liability an agent assumes. The agent performs a visual inspection at time of listing and does not find anything wrong, but during the listing period a leak develops that would have been marginally visible. The home is vacant.
Luckilly, the buyer has an inspection performed that identifies the problem. What did the agent certification accomplish, nothing.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 1:11PM
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Gina_W

It looks like additional useless bureaucracy, foisted on these agents. I had a mountain of such useless forms.

Soon they'll add a form to disclose that the house is on a street and have the new buyer sign off that they realize there is a street there and on said street travels automobiles that could possibly run over children, the elderly or wayward dogs, not to mention pollute the air in front of the house, make noise, and possibly OMG park in front of the house.

Then there's the future form to disclose that critters and varmints could possibly trespass in the back yard of the house and leave their droppings, eat the fruit off your trees, skunk spray your dog, kill your cats, possibly come into your house by way of doggy door and otherwise terrorize you.

And don't forget the disclosure form for letting you know that you have other humans who live next to you, in front of you and behind you, commonly referred to as "neighbors" and that these neighbors could possibly offend you with their cooking odors, their noisy parties, their scanty attire, their unkempt gardens, and their dogs who might poop in your front yard.

I'm sure there are other "disclosures" I've not thought of but that the California government is discussing at this very moment, all in the name of giving me, the home buyer, as much heads up as possible about all the nuisances that may face me in my life here in the beautiful Golden State.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:45PM
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linda117117

Gina, I couldnt have said it better myself. Its out of control, the amount of forms, disclosures, things you can and can't say. I just took a class the other day, apparently there is some new nonsense coming down the pipe line. An agent "must" show property to any person who calls. (im shortening the info, but that is the gist).If not, it can be viewed as "failure to show" and some type of discrmination. Well, they can just put me in jail, because as long as this is a commission based business, I will choose who I want to work with and when! I have been in the business long enough to tell within 3 minutes of a phone call who is a tire kicker.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 3:36PM
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ncrealestateguy

Same here Linda. What state do you live in?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 2:25PM
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