For the record, I do not energize electrical systems for any reason, whether it is a single circuit breaker, or the panel disconnect, ever!
As an fyi… it is common practice to de-energize the garage circuit breaker to minimize break-ins with random garage door openers. This eliminates the use of padlocks on the door that the keys seem to always get misplaced. Some agents like to just unplug the opener, but anyone can kick-in the service door and plug it back in. You would be amazed at how quick a garage full of tools and stuff can be stolen with the vehicle door open!
I would stay outside untill I get an answer from Agent . Most likely Agent or owner left door open, but Im going to make sure of that before I walk in. If they didnt, or dont know why the door is open, Im not going in until they get here. I tell them I will be waiting outside until they arrive we can investigate together. If they cant make it, well then they might want to have the Police investigate, because I am leaving.
I totally agree with Jeffrey, Im not flipping breakers, unless someone tells me that they flipped it off ! And even then, if I do flip it on, I am gonna flip it right back off after I inspect what I need to see.
The scenario Jeffrey described makes a lot of sense, but I want to verify that from the agent before I assume !
I would call the agent if an entry door to the exterior or the garage is wide open. Those doors are always kept shut so the scenario is out of the ordinary. It is not a wasted call if the robber shut the vehicle door to prevent discovery. How do I know if someone is not in the house with me?
I did a home which had two doors and one window kicked in but they had all been shut so I didn’t notice until I had gotten to the rear of the house where the back door had the most damage. I called a police friend who was on patrol after I quickly took the agent by the arm (she was on a call) and escorted her out the front door.
As for tripped breakers, that is a separate issue. It gets notated and I don’t turn it back on. Someone else must turn on utilities for me, I won’t take chances with five children and two mortgages.
From the situation as described, I would simply inspect the house and record my findings (exactly as you described them). I would leave and provide a report to my client. My report would include mentioning the lack of an automatic door closer for the opened garage man door to the house and an electrical evaluation for the tripped breaker (that I would not energize), since everything looked okay in the box.
Your scenario will only happen once in your life, if at all. I do not have a pass key, and never will. The key costs a yearly membership fee, monthly dues, daily updates, etc. There is too much liability entering any home without the buyer agent in attendence. If the home is occupied, the owner can accuse you of stealing something. If the home is vacant, anything can be an issue because “you touched it” or “you where the last one there”.
I am also the first to leave. The RE locks up, turns off the lights, etc.; all for a reason.
Yes I know in the actual experience you had the home was not robbed, but you asked what an inspector would do if he came upon a lockedhouse full of personal belongings with and open door between the house and garage and power cut to the garage.
I would call the realtor based on the possibility the house had been broken into, then I would proceed with caution until I knew more. When things don’t look as they normally would, protect yourself and your liability first, inspect second.