Contacting the Seller

I hate it when I show up at the door and the seller is not expecting me (probably happens 1% of the time). It’s due to the long line of communication…my client tells his realtor, his realtor tells the selling realtor, selling realtor tells the seller…lots of room for miscommunication.

Do any of you call the seller directly, if the number is available through “reverse lookup”, to confirm the time and location?

I have been in the Construction Industry for over 30 years, I learned a long time ago that you need to trust people but, you can’t trust people. Call and verify with everyone day before the appointment.

I have started doing that but I have had a few selling realtors complaining that I should not be contacting the seller directly.

And they are correct. There is a reason for confidentiality. The buyer (almost) never knows the identity of the seller. Sometimes they find out at closing.

I have been doing Inspections for over 10 years…
Sellers being surprised will occur
should not be a surprise…

They just signed a contract providing for an Inspection to occur within the next 5 - 7 days…

Their issue is with their Agent.

Why take on additional responsibility, time and expense to do someone else’s job?

I agree when it happens with us I just apologize for you not receiving notification .
I blame no one and just tell them I will be here for about 3 hours give them my pen a card and carry on … Roy

I don’t agree. My only responsibility is to my client. If the phone number is public, I will speak to anyone up to and including the Pope.
I think realtors sometimes confuse their COE with our COE, they are different.

First question… where did you get the owners name to look to see if the number is public?

Don’t need the owner’s name…“reverse lookup”.
If it’s not there then it’s not public and I don’t (can’t) call.

Public records! Right there for all to see is the owner’s name, contact phone number, mailing address, and even the financing history!

There are many outfits that specialize in putting public records on the Internet. I use Realist because I have free access to it through the MLS, which I also have free access to because my husband is a Realtor.

I have no communications with anyone about the inspection other than with the person who hired me.


Did you check to see if the Owner is listed on the “Do Not Call” list?

That wasn’t really my point, but my fault for not being more specific.

Why do you even bother wasting the time, and what gives you the ethical right to contact the seller?

Do you have such a big problem with this? I can’t remember ever having this issue. Ever! I freely communicate with my clients, and on some occassions, my clients agent. Very rarely do I contact the sellers agent except in rare cases of needing the lockbox code. I have never needed to call the seller directly. I leave that up to the other ‘professionals’ involved.

This was the only time in recent memory that I had any communication with a seller…

No, does not apply since I’m not trying to sell him anything.
My dentist’s secretary calls me the day before every appoinyment.

Nothing to do with ethics. Our COE does not prevent us from contacting the seller. Your choice.

Wow, you really feel the InterNachi COE is the center of the universe? It is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes down to Professional and Personal Ethics. Wow!

This has turned into an interesting discussion.
I’m sure we’ve all been contacted the day before an appointment by our doctor’s office or dentist’s office to confirm the appointment. Now I realize the public doesn’t view us as the academic or social equivalent of a doctor or dentist but so what. If your office chooses to confirm the appointment with the seller then I see no problem, ethical or otherwise.
I’m not saying everyone should or will choose to make the confirmation call. It’s a business decision.

Today there’s rarely a buyer who doesn’t know who the seller is. While looking for houses you should find the seller’s info via the tax records, which are usually available online now, and which any buyer should be confirming (because the taxes stated on the MLS listing are often wrong). Also, you always find out at contract anyway, not closing - you can’t go into contract with an anonymous person. Sellers just don’t want buyers contacting the directly and prefer to work through realtors.

But Jeffrey’s right of course, it really doesn’t matter who the seller is because access to the property should be arranged beforehand through your client and their realtor - its rare that I’ve had an issue. Never had to leave and return again. Can almost always be worked out if it happens.