When a buyer for residential real estate does their home inspection do they have the right to “their time” in the house with the home inspector? Does the owner/seller/agent of the property have the right to listen in?
Different agents have different thoughts on this and it is also different community to community as real estate and how it is practiced is local.
I believe that a buyer is paying for the home inspection and it is their opportunity to go through the house with the home inspector, ask questions, go over their concerns. This is especially important for first time buyer’s who have questions and have a need to know what things are in a home and what they should watch out for.
Some agents believe that because they are representing their seller they have a right to “listen in” to the buyers inspection so that they can “report” back to the seller presumably informing that seller of potential issues that might come up.
When a buyer does a home inspection they get a written report and it is the written report that will have all of the details they need to know and it is likely they won’t remember everything when they are in the house as it can be very overwhelming to listen to a home inspector go over issues in a house. A seller’s agent can listen but won’t know what are issues for the buyer until the buyer sends an inspection response and a request for a remedy to the seller. Anything a listing agent reports to a seller is their interpretation for what may happen. One buyer may want electrical issues remedied and another buyer may not. Thing is if the seller’s agent listens in they now need to report what they have heard to a future buyer if the deal doesn’t happen.
The buyer is paying for the inspection. The seller is not. The buyer is paying and the information belongs to him/her and whatever is done with that information is up to the buyer. If the seller is interested in what an inspector has to say they should pay for an inspection of their own. Of course, no two inspections will pick up exactly the same items and no two buyers will look at the same inspection and have the same response.
I recently did an inspection with a buyer and the listing agent believed he had a right to be there and my buyer was adamant that this was his inspection and not the seller’s inspection. We had to ask the listing agent if we should leave the property for every bit of conversation with the inspector or if he would be kind enough to leave us alone in the house – he was a good guy and left us.
I wish all listing agent’s would respect buyer’s and their right to fully inspect on their own a very expensive investment they are about to make…