Listing Agents & Home Inspections: Conflicting Opinions

Listing Agents & Home Inspections: Conflicting Opinions

Home inspections are often the deciding factor for whether or not a buyer decides to move forward with a deal. While the buyer, buyer’s agent, and inspector always have to be present at inspections, for the listing agent it is more ambiguous. Some say it is not the listing agent’s responsibility, so they can skip out. Others think that a listing agent should be there to address concerns and answer questions. In some states, the listing agent is legally required to be there, and opinion does not matter. In this article, we will discuss pros and cons of the listing agent going to a home inspection.

1. Support your Client

Some listing agents prefer to attend every buyer inspection to keep their client more comfortable. Sometimes inspectors are overly aggressive, sometimes they have incomplete information about a home, and sometimes they confuse buyers. Being present reduces misunderstandings.

2. Mediate Problems

Incompetent inspectors can cause closings to be delayed. If a listing agent is present, he or she can prevent this from happening by calling an inspector’s bluff when claims are exaggerated or invalid.

3. Be There Just in Case

Sometimes the buyer’s agent does not attend the inspection, even though they are supposed to. This can be problematic. Besides that, both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent can offer valuable insight into the process, so they should both be present.

4. Listing Agents May Hinder a Buyer’s Inspection

Some think that a buyer should be able to roam their potential future home, ask questions, and make judgments without a listing agent’s presence.

5. No Agents Should Attend Inspections

Others think that neither the buyer’s agent nor the listing agent should be present at the time of the inspection. The inspector is the one with the expertise in inspecting; other agents do not need to offer their incomplete and potentially incorrect opinions. Realtors may even run the risk of being sued if they give incorrect advice to a buyer.

6. Have a Separate Inspection

Some believe that a buyer should have one inspection with the buyer’s agent, and then another one with the listing agent. This can be helpful for cross reference to the buyer’s inspection and to gauge the buyer’s interest away from their agent.

7. Consult the Local Laws

In some states, none of the above reasons should influence your decision to attend the inspection, because the law dictates whether or not you are permitted or required to be there. Check the laws in your state before making a final decision either way.

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