Agent Signing Agreements for Customer

I don’t know if this is a weird thing or not. It might be something not even to worry about. This Real Estate Agent I am dealing with is a little out of the norm we will say. Rescheduling appointments and just doing weird stuff in general. Someone wants a septic & well inspection done. He put everything in his name and signed the agreements. The clients are going to pay me at the inspection. I don’t even have any of the clients info. Just the agents and he signed the forms. Is this ok? It just seems weird to me. Does it not matter to me or should it not matter to me? I just don.t want to get pulled into a courtroom for something. Thanks

There are a couple of agents in my area that try to control the whole transaction. I simply tell them that I will need whoever is paying for the inspection to sign the inspection agreement so I will need their contact information (name, cell and email) to email them the agreement. If the agent resists I simply tell them to find another inspector. They usually understand when I tell them my insurance carrier requires it to be this way.

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I do the same as Kevin. I’m providing the inspection in accordance with our SOP for the client. If the realtor signs the agreement then I’ll simply inform them I’m inspecting the house on their behalf. As for who pays me, I don’t care, as long as I’m paid.

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The person most likely to sue is the person that shelled out all the money to buy the house. If something is not working, damaged, etc. when the buyer moves in or shortly after the agent who sign your agreement could care less. The buyer will come after the inspector. If anyone suggests someone other than the buyer signs the contract and pays for the inspection call your E&O provider ASAP. They control the insurance money and they control the rules you must follow to be covered.

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PIA in the Realtor’s name. Report in the Realtor’s name.
Realtor represents the buyer. It’s between them. They are licensed to do this stuff on their clients behalf.

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Theory would suggest that as long as there was no collusion between you and the realtor, then having a realtor as your client should reduce your liability versus a home buyer. In the past I’ve worked under similar circumstances and didn’t like it, getting friendly with realtors who operate this way is never a good idea, keep it very businesslike.

Why would you not?

Not all Agents are crooks, nor are HI’s. Working with a REA is not against the law. Why must we always even consider that it might? I did 90% of my HI work with REA’s, the rest were Investors. When they asked me to do things what were not in my preview, or discussed what was going into my report, I simply advised them it was outside of HI Standards and how I was going to handle the matter. They were educated on the subject and that was that.

REA’s boosted my business from day #1. I got calls from them weekly on things they did not understand about something, if it was my report or others. They need help, same as us.

You get stupid requests from stupid people. Educate them and enjoy a lucrative business relationship.
Beats the hell out of buying coffee and doughnuts at REA Sales Meetings every week (which could be construed a bribe, by the way).

Your agreement should never be under the agents name or be allowed to be signed by the agent. As the owner a Multi Inspector firm that does 4,000 inspections a year we always run into agents that want to do everything on behalf of their clients and while we “permit it” we do get the buyers info to contact them and go over the scope of the inspection so everyones clear on the scope of work and to make sure nothing was manipulated or over promised by an agent on the inspectors behalf.

Not sure what software you’re using but here we use Spectora. While our company is built off relationship with realtors we always ask the agent for the buyers Name, email, phone number. In Spectora we put the buyers name in the buyers section and the agent under the agent., Spectora you can control what emails the buyer gets and what email the agent gets. With our system only the buyer gets the agreement and payment link and agent only gets confirmation. Agent doesn’t have the option to sign or pay for the buyers inspection. Its important your Agreement and Scope of inspection gets sent to the buyer and even if the agent books it on behalf of the buyer my office always calls to go over the scope of inspection with the buyer and we make sure the buyer gets emailed everything. Remember without your knowledge Agents will promise the buyers that their inspector (you) will deliver the world and act like your best friend but then throw you under the bus when S*** hits the fan. Always cover your a**

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I disagree, and IMO, your post is built on a hill of hokum!
So, how many agents pissed you off today?

It can be… …

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The agent is booking the home inspection. Associate required service agreement or work order fields to the appropriate persons.

Clients name, current address, prospective real estate address, the inspection address, phone numbers. Assign real estate agents by their role. Sellers/Buyers agents.
No more, no less.

Your logic behind this?

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Anything is “okay” until there is a problem.

If you have a clause in your contract that limits your liability in any manner (i.e. to the amount of the inspection fee) … and you fail to prove to the court the homebuyer is suing you in (for the full value of his house, let’s say) that the buyer was fully aware of and agreed to that limitation before the inspection … you probably just bought yourself a house that you cannot live in. Additionally, if you have errors and omissions insurance that requires a signed agreement with the buyer before you inspect the house, you are probably without insurance.

Other than that, having the agent or the grocer or the next-door neighbor sign your agreement is just fine.

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If the agent is going to sign the agreement on behalf of the client, the inspector should ask the agent if the client has authorized the agent to sign the agreement. If the agent says that he or she is authorized, the inspector should have the agent write “Authorized Agent” under the agent’s signature.

Why do Inspectors have so much trouble modifying their agreements and reports to fit the situation?

When something is different than the norm, unless it is illegal it is contractual. Some changes are better than others, the clients sig is better than the agent’s but it still works, until as James said, till it don’t. How about getting something sent to the client getting an affirmation like email, or NACHI’s Inspection Agreement where they can reply through this site (is it still there?). I used it all the time. Anything is better than nothing. Even if like Nicks attachment, you get it signed after the fact, it is still better than nothing or not doing the job. Just spell out the changes in your boilerplate.

If you have never purchased a house, the transaction can be a PIA. You don’t need to add to that.

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IMO, Professional business-persons, (aka. Inspectors, <<cough, cough>>), should be prepared for most contingencies such as this. I have multiple boilerplate Agreements for such various occasions. It’s not a question of IF a circumstance will occur, but WHEN!
Remember the Boy Scout motto: BE PREPARED!!

I guess they can just refuse to inspect if the client didn’t sign, then sit around here complaining how slow the work is… :man_shrugging:

I have been screwed from someone/agents a couple times that did not sign and canceled the inspection or not pay. Not going to waste my time trying to collect without a contract in hand. So there are some issues involved, but from my perspective it’s just a matter of the cost of doing business. I just put them on the Do Not Inspect list.

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Seems to me that with the online access that most people have, there should be no reason to not be able to sign an online agreement or to need an agent to sign for them.

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Actually, there are many, some of which are legal reasons, and often involve “Power of Attorney” contracts between the Client and the Agent… that you are usually NOT privy to.
Don’t assume to know the about’s or why’s of the relationships your client may have with others.

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A year ago we had a agent book a inspection for a “High profile Judge relocating from Connecticut”. The agent that booked the inspection insisted that he didn’t want the Judge to be bothered and the inspection was booked under the Agents name and the agent paid for the inspection using the clients credit card. This was a 5,500 sqft house that we billed $1,750 for the Home Inspection plus Mold Inspection/ Mold Testing. After the client moved in they called complaining about the central vacuum system not working right and one of the 3 wine cooler not working right (the house had 3 wine coolers). We explained as Home Inspectors we do not inspect central vacuum systems or non permanent appliances as per Nachi’s standards. Client did a charge back and when the credit card company saw the agreement under someone else name they automatically favored the buyer and not us regardless of the signed agreement, language in the agreement stating the agent represented the buyer and Nachi standards we presented. Thankfully this was limited to just the Inspection cost but had the buyer chose to pursuit a legal route I would of been vulnerable to a lawsuit without signed agreements. In the long run in court I could of absolutely most likely won the case however the typical owner operated Inspection company cannot afford the legal cost of a lawsuit that typically takes a year or two to resolve. You can roll the dice and not have any agreements for your entire career but if you decide to grow to a multi inspector company doing thousands of inspections a year headaches are not a “If” but a “when”.