The listing agent, the buyer, the buyer's agent - Review of various scenarios
Property Inspection is one of the most crucial steps, whether you are going for a move-in ready home or buying a fixer-upper. The inspection ensures you are making an informed decision on your purchase. It reveals the major defects in the property, which can further increase the costs for buyer after closing. If done properly, you can create a strategy for negotiation and necessary repairs. If done poorly, it begins to unravel, and the whole thing falls apart.
Property inspections are a critical piece to the home buying and selling process, yet it is amazing to note that proper representation during the inspection process is often misunderstood and neglected. By proper representation, I mean preferably who all should attend the inspection process to make an informed decision.
Different experts have varied views regarding which stakeholders should attend the home inspection process.
Some believe that the buyer's agent does not need to attend the Property Inspection.
Some others have a view that they must.
Another set of experts have their view that only the home Inspector should attend the process.
We can take the concept a step further and recognize that the listing agent, the buyer’s agent and the buyer, should be present at inspection along with the Inspector.
To begin with the main point of discussion that generally arises, which is whether the buyer agent should attend the inspection.
Views regarding the presence of Buyer Agent During Home Inspection:
Some buyer agents do not attend the process as not to influence the inspector. This way they also avoid any chances of argument with the inspector. They still suggest their buyer clarify any issues with the home directly with the inspector. Another supporting view is that the buyer’s agent is not the one buying the home, so should not influence the buyer about what defects are acceptable or non-acceptable.
Some other agents attend purely to be a part of the sale process but refrain from making personal suggestions. What may be a major issue for an agent, may be a negligible issue for the buyer.
Some buyer agents always attends the process to be on upfront. This is what our team does. This way we can begin the negotiation process immediately. By being present buyer agents can also be aware of common issues arising in a particular area or locality like termite issues, seepage due to dampness etc.
Views Regarding the presence of Listing Agent, Buyer and Buyer’s Agent During Home Inspection:
Major five reasons suggested by experts regarding why listing agent, buyer and buyer’s agent are expected to be present during the home inspection process are:
1. All parties can learn so much valuable information at inspections:
Buyers can know about the condition of the home first hand, the listing agent can explain to the seller’s about any serious issues that need immediate and fast attention. The buyer's agent can explain it better to buyers in simple words. Further, both the agents will gain immense knowledge that they can carry with them throughout their career.
2. Home inspections can be written a number of different ways:
It depends on a number of factors such as how much of a seller credit can be used. They can easily list major repairs the buyer wants. Any negotiation process can be initiated based on the condition of the house. All these can be included in the Home Inspection report clearly.
3. Being present at an inspection also helps with the repair request process:
When all parties are present only the major issues in the report will be points of discussion. Viewing the inspection process first-hand provides the ability to push back on minor items; knowing that the inspector said it wasn’t a concern.
4. It ensures that all parties arrive on the same page:
The findings of the home inspection can make or break a deal. And since everyone is directly present during inspection everyone has a clear idea of what to expect and how to proceed. A clear decision can be taken whether to complete the process after price negotiation along with major repairs or to drop the purchase plan completely, in case the buyer finds the issues are too great.
5. Fair Inspection Reporting:
Sometimes home inspectors write a report with all sorts of red flags. Buyer agents try to use this as a way to negotiate with the seller to get what they want. So sellers generally have to accept it so that the buyer doesn’t cancel. Then the seller ends up having to start all over with a negative inspection report. So when all parties are present during Inspection a fair and unbiased inspection report can be expected.
So the final conclusion can be made that it is most beneficial that listing agent, the buyer’s agent and the buyer, are all present at the time of inspection along with the inspector. Another point is that the buyer agent should refrain from influencing the buyer’s conclusions about the home inspection. The presence of all the above parties should act as a helping element in the complete home sale process and should discuss issues amicably rather than starting a war.