Why Your Real Estate Agent Should Attend The Home Inspection

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 29 November 2017 11:59
Real Estate Agents Should Attend The Home Inspection. Real Estate Agents Should Attend The Home Inspection.

The home inspection is something that can make or break a real estate transaction. The fact that many agents imply that they do not need to be present for such a major event is unfortunate. There are a number of reasons why the agent – buyer's or seller's - should attend the home inspection, not the least of which is that it is their job.

The agent is hired to represent the client, and representing the client means being there when needed. The home inspection is no exception. The listing agent should be at the home inspection just like the buyers agent should!

The home inspection is a major hurdle in a real estate transaction. Does it make sense that a real estate agent should skip it? Absolutely not! What you'll find is this business is made up of two types of real estate agents - Those that will go the extra mile in everything they do and those who will try to do as little as possible.

The latter of which you don't want to get stuck with. Insist your Realtor attend the home inspection!

Reasons for a Realtor to be at the Home Inspection

1. Some home inspectors are better than others.

Realtors are not the only professionals that can range from amazing to terrible. Home inspectors are people, too, and are just as prone to making mistakes and cutting corners. While most inspectors do their best to adhere to the standards of their profession, not all do.

Even if the inspector does their job by the book, they can still present information in a more dramatic way than is necessary. This is why it is necessary to understand how to pick a home inspector. The inspector can make or break a home sale very easily.

It is part of the Realtor's job to provide insight and knowledge to aid the client in the transaction. One area of expertise that most clients do not have is how the results of a home inspection affect a sale. For instance, if there is a minor electrical problem in the home, the home inspector could present it in one of two ways:

1.) Home Inspector - "There is a minor electrical issue here that should eventually be repaired. But please understand, I'm telling you this for your information, not because it is a major issue. In fact, this issue is really common in many homes."

2.) Home Inspector - "You see the way this here? This is a fire hazard and is dangerous for anyone living in this home. If we are finding this here, there is no telling what else is wrong with the wiring in the rest of the home!"

One angle informs the buyer without alarming him/her. The other can create a roadblock that is insurmountable, killing the sale.

A good Realtor will be able to provide clear insight to the buyer, putting the issue in perspective so an informed decision can be made. There are a lot of drama queens who happen to be home inspectors.

2. It is harder for the Realtor to negotiate effectively when he/she didn't attend the inspection.

One of the most important reasons to hire a Realtor is to get professional representation in negotiations. The home inspection report provides a list of issues that the buyer and seller will negotiate to determine the terms of the transaction. But there is more to the inspection than the document created after it is over. The inspector may miss things. The inspector may exaggerate things. The inspector is going to spend several hours looking over the home, a long period of time during which a lot can happen.

A Realtor who is willing to put in the time to watch over the inspection is dedicated to negotiating as effectively as possible for his or her client. The Realtor will be watching and keeping track of all the little details that can prove incredibly useful during negotiations. But a Realtor who bases negotiations off of the report alone is not going to have such information. All he or she will have is the words of the inspector, which may or may not be reliable.

Anyone who has been in the business long enough also realizes what is said at a home inspection and what is on paper can be very different. Quite often home inspectors cover themselves with what is in writing. What seemed like a very minor issue at the home often turns into a major problem when the inspector puts pen to paper.

When you consider how much is riding on the negotiations, it is easy to see why the client would prefer the Realtor take a few hours out of his or her day to attend the inspection. An exceptional real estate agents knows how to negotiate repairs after a home inspection. Negotiating issues you have not seen first hand is awfully hard to do.

3. "Liability" is not an excuse.

Agents who do not attend home inspections will often cite "liability" as a reason for their absence. But liability is only an issue if the Realtor behaves recklessly at the inspection, inserting comments and observations that are outside of his or her area of expertise. Yes, Realtors have been sued and have lost lawsuits based on actions they took at an inspection. Looking closely at such cases, though, quickly exposes the mistakes that were made – mistakes that are easily avoided.

A savvy Realtor attends the home inspection and stays quiet throughout the process. All he or she is there to do is observe, not comment or attempt to display expertise. The inspector will hopefully explain things to the clients, speak about the importance of maintenance, and point out issues that are worth considering. Whatever the inspector does, the Realtor does not need to get involved until after the inspection is over.

Once the inspection is finished, the Realtor can talk with his or her client about what just occurred. It is then that the Realtor can speak up about areas of confusion, misinformation or other concerns. The agent can give informed opinions to the client without fear of liability. It is only when the Realtor starts trying to speak as an inspector that things can go bad.

Real Estate agents should NEVER try to do a home inspectors job. They need to keep their mouth shut. Unfortunately, far too many agents don't know any better. They make statements that shouldn't be made. Agents who try to convey expertise to a buyer are digging their own grave and deserve to be sued.

4. Being with the client is part of the job.

People hire real estate agents because they need them to represent them. Representation means being there when it matters and doing your best to achieve optimal outcomes for the client. The commission the client pays the agent is only worth the cost if representation is complete and thorough.

If real estate clients were aware of how useful it can be to have an agent at the inspection, they would accept nothing less. But they don't know. Agents who do not attend inspections are taking advantage of this lack of knowledge.

There are some legitimate reasons to miss an inspection – like if the agent has something else scheduled that cannot be missed, and rescheduling the inspection would negatively impact the transaction. But situations like this should be rare. A great real estate agent will make arrangements so that their seller client is represented at a home inspection.

If you are selling a home you should ask the agent you are interviewing if they will attend the home inspection. Remember the inspection is a critical part of the transaction. Sales are won and lost at a home inspection. You deserve to be represented well when you are selling your home - after all you will be paying a real estate agent thousands of dollars!

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About the Author: The above Real Estate information on the why your real estate agent should attend the home inspection was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 30+ Years.

Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

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Bill Gassett

One of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last decade plus. Providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Metrowest Massachusetts area including the following communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

See my real estate website at Maximum Real Estate Exposure - one of the most visited real estate sites in Massachusetts.

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