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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Been inspecting for 10 years now but wanted to see what other inspectors do regarding getting sellers and/or listing agents out of the home for the inspection.

    Normally, if a seller is present, I will tell them that I will need 3 hours and that I will lock up and turn the lights off when we're done. That normally gets the point across that they aren't supposed to be there. Other times, the seller says 'I want to be here for the inspection'.

    I explain that the ASHI CoE says that I can't discuss or disclose the inspection findings with the seller and that I reserved time (and got an appt confirmation from the listing agent) to perform the inspection with my client.

    Just curious how other inspectors address these issues..

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  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I have nothing to hide, and don't try to get anybody to leave the premises while I'm doing an inspection. If anyone has any questions, I am more than happy to answer them... generically. Like you, I explain that I do not answer any specific questions regarding results of an inspection.

    If folks get in my way, I respecfully tell them that I am being distracted, and slowing me down will only prolong the inspection. In most cases, everyone stays in another part of the house while I'm working, once in a while will pop in to see how I'm doing.

    Actually, at the end of the inspection, while I'm discussing the home with my client; I will even ask the client's agent to "excuse us" while I speak to my client.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I'm a guest in their home, if they want to stay, so be it.

    I don't change what I do or how I inspect, and they mostly leave me alone. Sometimes they offer a glass of water after doing the attic.

    Not directed at you alone Matthew, but I have always been amazed how some folks seem to think we are the FBI investigating a crime scene. You can inspect the house while the seller is present and then discuss the results with your client privately to maintain compliance with ASHI regs.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Dom.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Durant, OK
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I agree with Dom. There have been many comments lately about being "Rude" to the sellers. I have never asked anyone to leave during my inspections, especially the Home Owners! That is between the Sellers and the Buyers and the Agents involved. I am contracted to perform an inspection of the home being sold to render an evaluation on the condition of the home. I can do that alone, on candid camera, or with an audience... makes no difference to me. It is when you wrap up with your client that you get to the meat of the matter. If the client does not want to withdraw to a private location to discuss the inspection, that is their decision. If the seller happens to over hear an issue you have noted.... maybe they will remedy it before the buyer requests it!! Wouldn't that be nice. Bottom line, it is a business transaction, follow the rules of commerce, be cordial, be professional, be respectful, above all, be memorable in a Good Way!

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Connecticut
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Me too, If they want to stay fine. If they follow around listening, I politely inform them that they are confusing myself and my client and that they can stay but they have to fix everything I find wrong.
    They never stay for long after that.
    I also add a comment to my introducation page that states they were there and that they were causing confusion and distracting.
    I have on several occasions, when the lsiting broker was way out of line with questions and distractions simpy stated,
    " you know you are not supposed to be here and you are bothering me, so Get The F--- out!!! NOW! "


  6. #6
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I don't see how you can throw somebody out of their own house. But they can throw you out if they want to!


  7. #7
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I don't see how you can throw somebody out of their own house. But they can throw you out if they want to!
    I have actually had that happen! Owner / builder, go figure!


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Around here they are asked by the listing agent, politely, to vacate if possible. Another matter of no influence on the inspection


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    While most of the Listing Agents tell the Sellers to leave, sometimes they just can't. or won't.
    I am a guest in their house, and act accordingly. I have never asked a Seller to leave their own house. I have been kicked out of maybe a dozen houses in my 22 years inspecting.
    I don't care who is there when I inspect. Now when it comes time to talk about my findings, my client and I may go outside, or drive down to the nearest McDonalds to talk, but I would never ask a Seller to leave their own house. Thats just rude and unprofessional in my opinion.


  10. #10
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    Jun 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I personally don't mind who is present during the inspection. I do ask my clients how they feel about it and give them the chance to maintain their privacy if thats what they want.

    Regardless of who might be able to hear what I need to say, I make sure the messages are delivered directly to the people I'm working for, which is usually the buyer. Anyone else in the room is just a bystander. It's one of the ways I strive to make the client feel they are the most important ones in the inspecteion process.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I find that sometimes the seller often gives out more information if I just introduce myself and listen to them. I generally arrive 20 minutes before the client to set up and get a feel for the inspection, and if the seller is there, I introduce myself. I ask if they mind if I walk around and go up on the roof before my client arrives and ask them if they have any concerns. Of course, their immediate answer is "no," but as I start looking around the house and yard, sometimes they open up. I ask things like, "How long have you owned the property?" or "Do you do your maintenence yourself?" Gives me a feel for things. When the client arrives, I focus most of my actions, words and body language on my client and this sends the desired message. I have never had a problem. In the presence of the seller and client I'm more general and even say I'll go over this in detail with you at the end of the inspection. Again, when done politely this sends the message. I would never tell a seller (and potential client) to leave their home. Bad for business. My two cents.

    Brent Consie
    I-Spect Home Inspection Services
    www.i-spect.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I don't do much of anything. They want to stay, go, whatever doesn't matter to me. It's their home I'm nice and respectful to them. If anything I talk with my client more quietly. It's rare that the Seller sticks around anyway. If they do stick around it isn't for long. I think they just want to see who is going to be in their house and feel comfortable.
    Had a Seller recently stay for the whole inspection. Nice guy, him the client and I ended up chatting quite a bit. Of course I still wrote the crap out of the house.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  13. #13
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    As others have said, it is their home and I'm a guest. I just work around them and do my job, sometimes the owner can actually be helpful. I can't tell you how much time I have wasted over the years looking for that elusive electrical panel that has been hidden behind a picture!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I've done a number of inspections for buyers I met when they were the sellers who should have been infuriated with me which demonstrates that there's no substitute for people skills. Be polite, respectful & courteous to all while being thorough and the referrals come. Not that this thread suggests what follows, but what is the problem inspectors have with sellers and agents? It's almost a given that it's a badge of honor if inspectors purposely alienate themselves from 2/3'rds of contacts they make in a day within the very venue of their expertise (the paranoid can read 'general' expertise).


  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Morin View Post
    I've done a number of inspections for buyers I met when they were the sellers who should have been infuriated with me which demonstrates that there's no substitute for people skills. Be polite, respectful & courteous to all while being thorough and the referrals come. Not that this thread suggests what follows, but what is the problem inspectors have with sellers and agents? It's almost a given that it's a badge of honor if inspectors purposely alienate themselves from 2/3'rds of contacts they make in a day within the very venue of their expertise (the paranoid can read 'general' expertise).

    It is not a matter of alienation. It is a matter that so much has happened when sellers are in the homes or listing agents are in the homes that has been deemed influence and Realtors and Home Inspectors have eaten it so bad for so long that the idea of a seller not being at the inspection or any agent being at the inspection has been recommended by council that to take away all liability (most anyway) it is advisable the the seller and or agents make themselves as scarce as possible. After all the entire home inspection business is based on buyer-inspector not buyer-inspector-seller-listing agent-selling agent.

    Texas for one and is turning in that direction in multiple states is following the idea or *least possible chance of influence to the home inspection process the better for the client and the least amount of liability to all involved in the selling process*

    It just cannot be anymore simple than that. I don't think any of us wish to use the term alienate towards anyone. If the sellers see a report that ripped their home apart in its thoroughness and you leave a business card on the counter and or the seller sees the report as well as the listing agent (happens every day of the week) then you will get the business. Even though most agents never come to an inspection or at least not till the very end and the sellers are almost never there, I get calls constantly from sellers for inspections on the homes they are looking at and even agents that found my reports thorough and easy to read with out all the hype and fluff eliminated.

    You do not need them in your face to gain business. You should not be doing anymore with the sellers other than inspecting their home and maybe leaving a business card behind. Asking where a panel is or hatch for the crawl. Other than that they are not and should not be privy to your findings for your buyer. It is up to your buyer as to what they will ask to be repaired and not to put the seller of the offensive about the 30 items that you found for your buyer.Once the element of surprise is gone or the seller can put together a game plan for the offensive to the assault from the buyer before your client evens reads or knows the findings is tantamount to destroying home inspector/ client privilege so to speak. Chatting it up and marketing the seller or listing agent while you are inspecting for a buyer can and does look like *who are you trying to influence or who is trying to influence you*

    It does not matter what a wonderful man and inspector you are Liability follows closely to those actions. It has been proven over and over and over again and that is why slowly but surely state after state Realtor associations are distancing themselves from the home inspection process and many are putting forth that the Realtor must give a minimum of three referrals with no pointing out the one that the buyer should use.

    Please do not take this as an attack on you personally but just factual information as to why things are going in the direction they are. I am quite sure you are a professional ethical business man and do your all to look out for your client.

    I chat it up with every party that may be at the home. That is the biggest reason I would not want the seller or listing agent there. It can be seen that "how friendly is he with these folks" "how come he seems so close to them?" "Did he talk to them beforehand?" "Did he talk to the listing agent?" "Does he have some kind of deal with them?"

    Those and many many more questions are ones that can come to mind by a possible *gonna get you* client or attorney or even just a client that feels you should have ripped that wall apart and did not.

    If you are in a court room and keep smiling at a juror and you are the defendant, how does that look if that juror fights like hell for you and changes the minds of other jurors. Yeah, I know, ridiculous example but it was meant to be to drive home the reasons behind the separation.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 08-30-2011 at 04:34 PM.

  16. #16
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I like them there. Let them earn their commission.
    I had interesting experiences with two of them.

    1. Sellers agent - very attractive, but obviously a dingbat. As soon as I introduced myself she started saying for me not to tell her anything about the inspection. I explained that I had no intention of telling her anything. She hung out with me for the whole inspection (~3-1/2 hours). Reality she watched tv the whole time, but I enjoy the company.

    2. Sellers agent - looks attractive on her business card and signage, but when you see them in person, they dont look anything like their photos. Noticed me writing up lights that didnt work. Asked me "are you really going to write up lights that dont work?". Explained I was hired to inspect the house and that was part of the inspection. She then asked me if I would try replacing the bulbs (she found a spare box under the sink). Told her I wasnt there to be a handyman, but she could change them and I would be willing to reinspect them.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Zeeland Michigan
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    143

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    I will talk to the sellers until the buyers get there. Always polite, it is still their house. Ask the age of the roof etc. When I want them to leave I will usually say something to the effect that my average list at the end will have close to 50 items on it. The buyer may want to address the most serious issues and the other 45 will just make you mad. They almost always leave after that.
    I do not discuss the report with anyone but the client.

    If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest
    Benjamin Franklin

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Southwest US
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    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Vernon View Post
    I will usually say something to the effect that my average list at the end will have close to 50 items on it. The buyer may want to address the most serious issues and the other 45 will just make you mad.
    I do not discuss the report with anyone but the client.
    That's good, I'm going to steal that, especially for pre-listing inspections!


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Steger
    Normally, if a seller is present, I will tell them that I will need 3 hours and that I will lock up and turn the lights off when we're done. That normally gets the point across that they aren't supposed to be there. Other times, the seller says 'I want to be here for the inspection'.
    I'm not aware of any regulations that say they aren't supposed to be in their own home.

    When I inspect a home, I want either the owner or owner's representative to be there. I want them to be responsible for protection of the property and any theft issues. Not me.

    Some agents tell me that their company does not allow them to be at the inspection and that they'll "leave us alone to do our thing" and to lock the doors on the way out.

    If I were selling my house and my Realtor was getting 5-6% of the selling price, I would tell them that NO ONE is to enter my home without you being present. UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. That's what they're getting paid for and THEY are repsonsible for "watching the farm."

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durant, OK
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    You make some excellent points of arguement Ken..... definitely something you should think about

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
    Jubilee Home Inspections

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    If I were selling my house and my Realtor was getting 5-6% of the selling price, I would tell them that NO ONE is to enter my home without you being present.
    The realtor doesn't earn all of the 5-6 %.


  22. #22
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Getting Sellers & Listing Agents Out during the inspection.

    Off topic a bit but I inspected a new house on Monday and the agent was getting 7% + $1000 bonus from the builder. She is in business with a a partner so she gets the entire commission. The builder is a national builder who is still building like crazy in the new development so they must still be making money even giving the agent $15k on a $200k home. The house was in good shape except for the dual-zone HVAC system which was a mess.


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