Can an agent sign the inspection agreement? New inspector advice article.

Can a Real Estate Agent Sign the Inspection Agreement on Behalf of the Client? by Mark Cohen and Nick Gromicko

We have that happen about 10 % of the time . Never been a problem ,
Thanks for the update … Roy ,

Also have Dad Cousins and Brothers

Have not read the article yet but I see no reason why not.
They are a representative to their clients.

Never happened to me yet and this is good information.
Thanks Nick. :slight_smile:

Without a signed, limited PoA, a signature by a used house salesman means nothing in a contract between you and your client. The only time it may become an issue is if there is a lawsuit with the client suing the home inspector.

They can sign but must be aware that a cheque will be needed by them at the end of the Inspection. I have done this a couple of times and it is no problem getting the money even from across Canada after the Real Estate forks out the money. The risk is not yours it becomes the RE.
The report has a space to sign in the Real Estate agent of there choosing on my reports.

I’ve had clients in Rome, England, Canadia, etc. I email or fax AND they sign and email or fax back.

Our local attorneys tell us it perfectly acceptable for real estate agents to sign our legally binding inspection agreement as long as RE Agent has a valid POA from buyer / No PoA - No Agent can NOT sign & bind client.

BUT with no PoA, we can make the Agent the client and they can sign for themselves / Then do what they want with report.

Thanks Nick and Mark nice article.

No*** buyer*** signature, no report. Pretty simple.

Interesting article, but … in matters of civil law, litigants will regularly find varying interpretations and applications between any two judges in a single jurisdiction. Expecting there to be any hard-and-fast rule in civil law that can be generally applied to ALL jurisdictions, as this article implies, is completely unrealistic.

If you want to look like an idiot, conduct matters such as these based upon message board posts. Understand that there are federal laws that control (and that can sanction) businesses that violate laws in attempts to collect on debts. What you don’t know can burn you and you can be fined and sued for much more than the inspection fee that you would be attempting to recover.

This issue can only be responsibly addressed by the attorney who drafted your contract. If you did it yourself or are using a pre-existing agreement created by someone else, consult a contract lawyer in your local jurisdiction to see how the rules are applied in that specific area.

As to a Power of Attorney … know that there are two types. One, which is rarely (if ever) used in a real estate transaction, is a General Power of Attorney which would give the agent total control over all of his clients transactions to include adoption of children, medical treatment, etc.

The second is a Special Power of Attorney which is limited to specific actions that the real estate agent is allowed to act upon. If home inspections are not specifically addressed in that Special Power of Attorney, the agent’s signature is as good as having the client’s neighbor sign for him. For anyone wanting to sign on behalf of a client who states that they have a “power of attorney” is not, by itself, good enough. The POA should be read by the inspector and the party offering the contract should be able to show specific language that would allow the agent to sign on behalf of the client for a home inspection. Without that, the POA is worthless for that transaction.

Bottom line … before acting out of the ordinary and allowing someone other than your client sign an agreement … or … attempting to collect a debt from someone who did not sign the agreement … consult with an attorney WHO IS LICENSED TO REPRESENT YOU IN THE JURISDICTION WHERE THE CONTRACT IS EXPECTED TO BE ENFORCED.

If an agent signs my agreement, they ARE my client. And they are responsible for payment. I tell them that very clearly.

I agree with Joe 100% and I also prefer to witness the signing of agreement. The bottom line is anyone can sue for just about anything, so your best line of defense is to better educate yourself so that you are better equipped to perform a more thorough and quality inspection and inspection report. Good communication of your findings with your client is also a very important. A pre-inspection agreement is a good thing but will not prevent you from going to court and being sued no matter who signs agreement; it will most likely be your lack of reporting.