How About Dealing With Seller Agents?


My policy has been that I only deal with the buyer and their agent (my client). However, sometimes I’ve been asked to either contact the seller’s agent or they volunteer my number and have the seller’s agent call me for clarifications, etc.

This can be problematic because sometimes the seller’s agent has a very high-powered opinion of themselves, and they will try to twist things in their favor. I don’t like to defend myself in front of someone who is not my client. What do you think? What about legal issues?

I am, however, MORE THAN WILLING to bend over backwards to explain my report, reasons, etc to MY CLIENT.

Help please!!!



I rarely speak to the selling agent.

If for whatever reason/s I do end up speaking to the seller or selling agent I generally answer their questions by reading directly from my report.

Sorry MRS sellers agent my SOP says I can not give you any information to you with our written premission from my client, I am sure you too would not give me any confidential information that you should not give out .
when she goes in another direction .
Sorry but as I said my SOP says I can not give you any information with out written permission from my client , at this point they usally they thanks ( with a soure tone ) and hang up .
If not I just repeat .
Roy Cooke

You devil, you.

I usually say “Sure, if you’ll indemnify me when my client sues me for breach of confidentiality.”

Joe & Roy, I believe Matai asked the question with the understanding that the seller had given him/her permission to speak with the seller.:slight_smile:

Correct, well, actually both…

…and THANK YOU for your opinions…


In Wisconsin’s standard offer to purchase form (WB-11) it clearly states on lines 98 and 99 that, “Buyer agrees to promptly provide copies of all such inspection reports to Seller, and to listing broker if Property is listed.” There is nothing mentioned about the INSPECTOR contacting either party.

This is the last line of my agreement, right above the client’s signature:

“Client(s) gives permission for the Inspector to discuss report findings with real estate agents, specialists or repair persons for the sake of clarification.”

If they are holding a copy of the report or the Summary and I tell them I can’t discuss it with them, that sounds kinda silly.

The spoken word permission some times gets forgotten when you are in court so if you read my last post or the part below
( Sorry MRS sellers agent my SOP says I can not give you any information to you with our written premission from my client, I am sure you too would not give me any confidential information that you should not give out . ) . I just go into Sorry MRS sellers agent. That is the way I handle it .
Roy Cooke


How do you handle a realtor who:

-Tries to discredit your report?
-Asks you to change your report?
-Is being difficult in general?



The SELLER’S AGENT, that is…

I politely but firmly explain my views and tell them I stand by my report. I have had unpleasant conversations with seller’s agents (and buyer’s agents)–that’s part of the business. One time I simply ended the conversation (hung up) with an electrician who got belligerent with me.

You have to understand that when money is involved (commissions), people can be “difficult”. I try to respond professionally, but I realize whom I’m working for and I’m firm in my stance. I try to logically explain why I wrote something a certain way. I put a lot of time into my reports so I make sure I can defend my positions before they are sent out.

Great, thank you for that well-thought out response.

As long as its ok with my seller, I’ll talk to the seller, listing agent, repair contractor, home builder all day long explaining my report or defending my position - **BUT **- time is money and I require a valid credit card number and bill my conversations at $125 p/hr with a 1 hr minimum.

That cuts down on their BS about 99%.

Hypothetically, your client hires a contractor to perform a repair. The contractor is confused about the way your worded the report and calls you for clarification. You tell the contractor you need written permission to speak with them? Then the client calls you and begs you to speak with their contractor. You say, “nope, can’t do it. Too much liability. Sorry. And besides, my SOP forbids it. Please fax me a letter giving my your express written permission and then it’s OK.” (I bet you’ll get a lot of referrals from that client.)

Why not just put a statement in your agreement that says you can discuss the report with anyone for the purposes of providing clarification?

Ditto at my company.

My purpose is to help my Clients, and if I can help them by talking directly to someone who is doing repairs for them, then it seems like skipping the middle man translation is beneficial to all concerned.

A few months ago, I had a Client who would not initial the permission paragraph, so I didn’t provide a copy to the seller. Shortly after the inspection, I got a call from the Client wanting to know if he could sign the paragraph because he got tired of the mistranslations going on between his agent and the seller’s agent, with my Client trying to be the translator. Since the original contract paragraph had not only been left unsigned, it had been scratched through, so I just created a contract addendum, he signed it, I talked to the seller, mistranslations ceased, and work got done.

Ditto here, except that I never, ever hang up on someone. I simply continue stating what I’ve already stated, explain why I wrote something, try to help them, be nice, be kind, etc. Sometimes they hang up on me because they just can’t deal with such a nice person who is so calm and collected in refusing their requests to change my report.

Even if they are being belligerent, demanding something or else, yelling at me, or calling me names, I’m not going to be the one to hang up. That’s just me, though. Probably has something to do with my Southern upbringing–kill 'em with kindness.

By the way, ART tells me that I have been asked 11 times to change something in my report. All of them were my Clients’ agents, all were prior to me putting the permission paragraph in my contract, and all were Top Ten agents in their respective brokerages, a reason why I don’t market to Top Ten agents anymore (along with the fact that I don’t need their business anymore).

Love it.

But is that eighth word supposed to be “buyer” or “Client” instead of “seller”?

I do think I lost a lot of repeat business and referrals during my first two years in business because I was so unflexible in talking with other professionals working on behalf of my Clients. Unfortunately, I never asked ART to track that stat, so I don’t know for sure.

1.) Report them to their local and state Realtor Board and your State inspector Licensing Board (if you have one) without delay.
2.) Report them to their local and state Realtor Board and your State inspector Licensing Board (if you have one) without delay.
3.) Report them to their local and state Realtor Board without delay, if they’ve already attempted to discredit your report and/or asked you to change your report. If they haven’t yet done that, maybe they’re just having a bad day, and you can help them make it a little better!

Worried about offending them? Don’t be. Many of them are not too worried about offending you, and, to boot, any “professional” who would ask you to change your report, or who would discredit your independent, thorough and fair report, is not really someone you want to be working-with (under any circumstances) in the future…