buyers agents responsibility for home inspections

Short of Having the Seller Present at the Home Inspection

seller present at the home inspection

If a home inspector doesn’t leave the home in the same condition as he found it, the buyer’s agent should.

It is certainly understandable, even though it is unadvisable, why you might find a seller present at the home inspection. That’s because there are certain types of tradespeople who traipse through a home without regard for care and consideration, and they don’t always return the home to its original condition after they finish with their inspections. Fortunately, this type of inconsiderate and unprofessional behavior is rare. But when it does occur, who is responsible? Directly, it’s the inspectors, but indirectly it’s the buyer’s agent who recommends and continues to endorse bozos.

I described a situation like this yesterday to my Elizabeth Weintraub Team member, Josh Amolsch. The inspectors, both a home inspector and a pest inspector, managed to leave a bit of a mess in my seller’s home. The buyer’s agent was present, of course. This goes beyond the usual comments I hear, such as the bed spread corner was turned up because prying eyes had been peeking under the bed. Oh, no, the audacity! Especially if there was a battery-operated item under there. Or a closet door was left ajar, or a bathroom light on, a towel on the floor. Small infractions but irritants all the same. No, this was much bigger such as the front door was left unlocked and the gate unsecured. In addition to a string of other issues.

That behavior makes a seller feel violated. It trickles downstream, too. Hope the buyers weren’t planning to ask for any favors.

Josh says he’s had a couple of occasions when driving away from a home that he has wondered if he turned off a light. Rather than wonder about it, though, he turns around, drives back and checks. Because that’s what a conscientious Sacramento Realtor would do.

Further, the seller is a professional in the trades himself. He goes to great lengths to show respect for the homes he works on. He is the kind of guy who wears booties or wipes his feet before entering a home. You can imagine his disappointment to come home from a weekend away and discover his front door unlocked, among a myriad of other events. He expects other professionals to treat his home in the same manner he treats his customers’ homes. He probably wonders if we allowed the seller present at the home inspection, none of this would have happened.

We Sacramento Realtors have it drummed into our heads to observe the condition of a home upon entering and to leave it the same way. If lights are on, we leave them on. If a door is locked, we lock it when we leave. We don’t do stupid, careless things like lock the garage door between the house and garage if the door is unlocked. We also don’t want the seller present at the home inspection — we want our buyers and their respective inspectors to enjoy free reign, to complete due diligence, and fully understand the product our buyers are purchasing.

But gosh, guys, to enjoy that benefit, you’ve got to leave the home the way you found it. Seize responsibility. Because regardless of how you might appear, we know your mother didn’t raise you in a barn.

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