Advice for Agents

I’d like some feedback from experienced inspectors.

There are a few basic things that I expect agents to do prior to a home inspection.
Buyer’s Agent: 1) Prepare the home buyer by telling them what a home inspection is and what to expect from a home inspector. 2) Tell homebuyer to bring money to the inspection. 3) Give our company at least 10 days to schedule the inspection - don’t call and ask for an inspection tomorrow. 4) During the inspection - don’t spin what I say.
Listing Agent: 1) Get the seller out of the house during the inspection. 2) Get all dogs out too. 3) Tell seller to make access to the heating/cooling system, access panels, electrical panel box, water meters, valves, etc. - Clean up the place. 4) Don’t be there to spin what I say.

If you guys were able to give advice to the Buyer’s Agent and/or Seller’s Agent - advice that would make your job easier - what would it be?

Ben Gromicko

Excellent thoughts Ben,

Unforturnately, all to often the agents do just the opposite. I’ve heard them tell the buyer via cell phone, “There’s no need to come to the inspection, I’ll be there on your behalf”. The seller’s there, the listing agent is there, but where’s the buyer? Let the “Spin” begin…

Hi, Ben - Welcome to the message board. That’s a good question that you have asked. To be honest, many of my responses would be different from yours. I do agree with #4 on both lists - it’s important not to put a spin on what I say or do, but rather just take the written report and work with it. For #3 on the listing/sellers list, I would also add that we need to have the utilities on, pilots lit, that sort of thing. It’s nice to have the place cleaned up, but it just seems that some sellers don’t care, for whatever reason.

It might be nice if a buyers agent explained the inspection to the buyer, but I think it’s even better when I do the explaining myself - that way I’m sure that the buyer is getting accurate and full information. Since my business relationship is directly with the client (usually a buyer), it’s part of my job to explain my payment policies - so I am comfortable telling the client how the payment needs to be handled. Clients appreciate being able to schedule with just a couple of days notice, if necessary - some contracts just seem to move pretty fast, and I don’t want to send a client to another inspector, which is what will happen if I’m not available for 10 days. If someone needs an inspection tomorrow, I’ll do my best to make that happen, if I can.

It can be a challenge to have the seller around during the inspection - I tell the seller that I prefer to go around the house without being accompanied, and it works out ok.

Welcome Ben,

Some will say educate, educate, educate and I agree with that. And until others understand it and communicate it the way I want it comminicated:

-I like to explain to my client what an inspection is.

-I make my own arrangements for payment with my client.

-I will make every effort to complete an inspection on their needed timeline.

-If they spin something I say that really matters, I’ll say “No that’s not what I mean, let me explain it again”, until my client understands.

-I request time to ourselves (my client and me) at the inspection but it doesn’t always work out. If my client isn’t able to attend, I don’t mind the seller there. I learn a lot sometimes.

-I deal with animals when I call to schedule with the listing agent.

-I deal with access when I call to schedule with the listing agent. If it’s not accessible I note why and move on.

Hope this helps.

How about if you know the buyers are not going to be at the inspection, Let us know before hand.

Hey Ben,

Most Agents will not take advice from a home Inspector. I don’t care how many times you request specifics for an upcoming Home Inspection, most will not abide by your requests…Period.

I simply deal with them when I’m on site.

When the Realtor starts spinning my findings…I simply clarify what I had just told my client. Then I ask the Realtor if he/she could leave us alone for the remainder of the inspection. It becomes very quiet. Now the client is all mine.

If I find blocked areas with limited access, I simply tell my client that I can not inspect certain areas due to personal items being in the way. They become nervous and want me to access certain areas, so I have them go talk to the listing agent regarding their concern. Most of the time the listing Agent will move items that are in my way.

The Realtor could care less about our payment…They will not remind the buyer to have our payment on site. When my client fails to bring payment, I fail to hand them the report. Most of them want their report and will have me follow them to the bank.

Animals in the house during the inspection…If they are left in the house, they don’t bother me. Most are harmless.

As for the 10 day notice to schedule an inspection…I don’t need it. I’ll always find an opening to squeeze my client into. I’ve done several 6:00PM inspections so I wouldn’t lose a prospect to another home inspector.

If the listing agent failed to have utilities turned on for the inspection, then my report states what mechanicals were not inspected due to utilities being off. Most of the time, I will schedule a re-inspection for a fee.

Welcome aboard, Ben!
Ten days’ notice - you folks must be pretty busy out there!

2-4 is normal out here. Esp as it cuts into the Inspection objection Deadline to go 10 days!


Hey Ben,
Always remember, the agent is not your client. We always develop a relationship with our clients. You should get some contact information from the agent letting you know who the client is. Once you have that, call them! Prepare them, answer any questions, and make them feel comfortable with you before you even meet. Ask them how they like their coffee? These are just some personal touches that I use, and ends up in many referrals. You are working for your client, not the agent, but don’t forget to remember you PR skills for the agent also. After all, their the ones that refer you. Use this as a guideline and I assure you, the agent will love you!

Hope this helps.