JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Are You There For The Inspection

Are You There For The Inspection

 I know a lot of agents that forgo making an appearance at the inspections of properties that they sell or list. When they sell a home, they open the door, hand the inspector a check and go on about their business. I have only had one listing agent come to a home inspection when I represented the buyers. I guess it's really just a matter of opinion on whether a Realtor feels that they should be there or not during this process.

 I for one go to each and every home inspection on deals that I am involved in, whether I am the listing or the selling agent. When I represent sellers, I always ask them to be present for the inspection so they can see what the inspector does and ask questions if they would like to. Of course I tell them not to harass the poor inspector and let them do their job, but I have yet to run across one that has not been more than happy to answer questions for my clients when the inspection is taking place.

 When I am the listing agent and another agent sells the home, I ask that the agent notify me when all inspections are taking place. I have had a few that seem surprised when I show up and I have been there for a few that the selling agent did not show up and just sent their clients. I always feel like I owe it to me clients to be present during every step of the process from contract to closing and these inspections are a part of that process.

 In the end I guess to each his own, but my clients seem to be very happy that I am available and present. This is not an effort to say that agents should or should not be present, just a curiosity on my part as to how others feel about the situation. As for me, I have always been there, and I intend to always be there. Like I said, for me I just feel like I owe it to my clients.




JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

My Columbia SC Real Estate Website

My Columbia, SC Real Estate Blog



Subscribe to JL Boney's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog by Email


Comment balloon 34 commentsJL Boney, III • March 21 2009 10:01PM


Evening JL,  Many of my buyers are not here for the inspections and closing.  They appreciate it that I am at the inspections for them .

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 11 years ago

I always accompany my buyers on an inspection.  That way I will understand any issues that we may want to negotiate.  I have never had the sellers present during the inspection.  The inspector is working for and being paid by the buyers.  I do not think it is appropriate for the sellers to be present and interacting with the inspector.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 11 years ago

Funny, some folks have such strong feelings on this subject, both yea and nay.  I agree with you JL. I think that I owe it to my clients but stay out of the way.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) over 11 years ago

JL..I think its part of the Jobsmile.. I agree 100%.....It's like the listings that don't have pictures..

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 11 years ago

JL, I think that just part of costumer service. Now up to what level of service one what's to give is up to each and every individual.

Believe it or not I have a 80% absentee rate on my inspections from both client and agent, and I encourage them to go and new agents also, to see the process themselves.

Far as I'm concern costumer service is number one priority in this business and some know it better than others. This is the year for superior costumer service and not the "Big Mac Attack" attitude.

                                                                ~ Life is Good

Posted by Roy A. Peterson, P.R.E.I. (Domicile Analysis of Texas) over 11 years ago

Bill- As they should, thanks for stopping in.

Marilyn- When I said that I ask my clients to come to inspections I don't think that I was clear on that. I do not ask my sellers to come to the inspection, because it is the buyer's inspection. However, I do go to all the inspections.

Margaret- I stay out of the way myself, but I am on hand.

Hannah- I feel the same way, that's why I do it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago


Great information, I feel the inspection protects everyone in the transaction.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 11 years ago

Roy- Customer service is so important in any business, and like you I think that new agents should certainly go to inspections so they know what happens. You can't answer questions when you don;t know yourself.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Lou- It does indeed sir.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Hi JL,

In Vancouver, BC, inspections are third party transactions. Where my seller is subjected to an inspection, it is my duty to facilitate the inspector by providing access to the property and securing it while others have access to it. It is not for me to make representations on the property. eg. is there an  unused oil tank buried in the back yard? Again, I'll carry the message(s) forward, but it is the owner's response that matters, not mine. Where I represent a buyer, I will attend the property, make sure the inspector has what he needs, and then I withdrawl from the inspection. The buyer should have indepenent, uninfluenced advice from the inspection service. Where the inspection service raises costly matters that may affect the budget of the buyer, leading to a subjects not being removed, I will negotiate on the buyers behalf but it is crucial that the buyers interest is placed first. This may lead to walking away from a transaction, but that is cheap insurance compared to dealing with costly problems going forward. Customer service can have may faces. Respect of third party advisors is one of them.

Thanks for sharing your ideas,

Mike Andruff

Posted by Mike Andruff (RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside) over 11 years ago

Staying for the inspection opens yourself up to liability that you just don't need.

I make sure that I am there to meet the inspector so that he can get started, and have him call me upon completion. There is no way that I want to open myself up to the liability, or perception, that I could have any type of influence over the inspection process.

While I understand that many of you feel it is a customer service issue, it is much better to meet and greet, then get out of the way!

- Harrison

Posted by Harrison Painter, New Media Consultant (GoGladiator Media) over 11 years ago

We are always there for the inspections, but of course stay out of the way. 

Posted by Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS, Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA (Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA) over 11 years ago


I have to think about that for a while. I want to give good service but I am not sure if I feel the need to be present at every inspection ...but I don't think that it would hurt either!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 11 years ago

I always attend, JL.  I've heard all of the arguments as to why an agent should not attend, and none of them ring true to me.  I am present at every major event in the transaction.  It is important for me to hear the findings from the horse's mouth (not just rely on a written report) if I am going to negotiate the repair items.  Kind of like giving the buyer your keypad and saying go look at the house and let me know if you want to write up an offer.  Hard to negotiate blindly.  Further, I like dealing with people face to face.  Some people don't.  I find things go a bit smoother when I have shaken the other party's hand at some point during the transaction.  It humanizes my clients and I just a bit in their eyes. 

Bottom line, I am being compensated quite handsomely to fulfill my fiduciary role, so I will be at every major event along the way.  I consider that my professional responsibility.

Posted by Paul Slaybaugh, Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate (Realty Executives) over 11 years ago

Always there for the inspection with my buyers. I don't normally go when it's my listing as the inspector is working for the buyers and they will not discuss anything with the seller or the sellers agent. We do demand that the buyer's agent be present with their clients and home inspector....

We also do not sign at the same time as the other party and do not hand over keys until it records with the Bureau of Conveyances....but through signing, handing keys, and all parts of the transaction...I am there.  Except of course, with an out of towner. :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 11 years ago

HI JL-Since I'm not a realtor I don't do it of course and the lady I work for I know doesn't go. I know the guy she generally recommends. He inspected both of my Mom's homes since we moved here and he is very thorough. She said that if she was there the inspector might not be as comfortable with her being there. I was at both of my Mom's places. He was very willing to answer any of my questions or concerns. In most cases and probably all of them. It probably is a good idea. I think in her case she knows she can trust him to take care of the folks and I can attest to the fact that he is extremely thorough and very knowledgeable but I'm sure there are many that are there just to collect a check. Great post. Have a great Sunday. :-)

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 11 years ago

JL ~ this has been a hotly contested debate over the years, and appears to still be that way.  I recently witnessed a 'knock down, drag out' on Trulia about this issue, too.  For myself, as the listing agent I've not in 12 years experience attended a home inspection.  As the buyer's agent, I've never missed a home inspection.  And as a buyer's agent, my preference is that the sellers and listing agent do NOT attend, especially unannounced.  If they insist, then we just muddle our way through it.  We do what we do to serve our clients in the best way we believe is possible and appropriate.  In this arena (attending inspections), there is plenty of room for variety and choice.

Posted by Randy Hooker, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek (Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area) over 11 years ago

Absolutely I attend every single one. I feel it in the best interest of my client when any 3rd party is involved to be there.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) over 11 years ago

JL - I attend the inspections, how else can you help the buyer understand it if you weren't there to see it. I don't usually attend as a sellers agent. If the seller is going to be present, I request that they remain quiet throughout the process. The buyer is paying for it (even if the seller is giving a concession).

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 11 years ago

JL when I am on the buying side I want to be there, and when I am working for the buyer I want to be there.... when I'm on the selling side it's a 50/50 if I feel there are issueswith the home I want to be there to help protect my seller and the buyer...YES both...peace zane 

Posted by Zane Coffin, (Geneva Ohio Real Estate Agent) (Century-21 Homestar) over 11 years ago

JL - I show up for the buy side, but never for the list side.  I don't want to be stuck in a disclosure issue.  If, for instance, the inspector finds something that the buyer just doesn't like, I would have to disclose it to future buyers.  I can't keep notes like that on every home I sell.  Unless I specifically recall a health or safety issue, I'm within rules and regulations.  But, the buyer may need represenation at the time of inspection and I just like them anyway.  But, as you know, I'm a little strange! I usually learn something. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 11 years ago

I have done almost every buyer, and and a few sellers.  Depending on the condition of the home and who the agent is.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 11 years ago

JL, I wrote almost the same post yesterday??!!  I came home from an inspection with my buyers  and started thinking about the last couple of inspections I had attended and the fact that some agents were there and some were not?  In 20 years I could count on one hand when a  listing agent shows up at the end or attend the inspection.  That was just the custom in our area,  However, in the past year, I have had more listing agents be present during the inspection.  I guess our school of thought in MD in the past is that it is the buyer's inspection and they should have full access and some privacy during their inspection. 

I hear you and the other commenters here where they want to be present.  That argument rings true to me as well.  Hmmm, guess I am going to have to rethink attending the inspection. 

I guess great minds think alike . . . ;0)

Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Services) over 11 years ago

I think its great that you are involved with the inspections.  Its good to know what the inspector actually says rather than the other agents version.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 11 years ago

Mike- I completely respect the advice of third party advisers, and I am not there to do the inspection nor affect the inspection in any way. I do not follow the inspector around, and that's whether I am there for the buyer or seller. I provide access to the house for them and I am there for my clients. In the end whether I am there for the buyer or seller, what the inspector finds leads to a decision for my clients. It is not my decision to make but theirs. I am only present and accounted for.

Harrison- I have spoken with agents that feel the same way that you do, but I have never had any trouble from my presence at an inspection so I will continue to go to them.

Lee & Carol- I do the same.

Richard- I don't really believe that there is a right or wrong answer on this one, so don't think too hard on it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Paul- I feel the same way. There is very little that can replace actually looking someone in the face that you are dealing with.

Sally- Most of the agents I know are the same way. They are there with buyers and not there when they are the listing agent.

Sharon- I know I can trust the inspector that I use, and I can assure you that he feels comfortable saying whatever he needs to say. He's very professional and very good at what he does, however I think if I was making anyone involved uncomfortable I would likely go away.

Randy- I never show up anywhere unannounced and I always ask if it is alright for me to attend the inspection when I am the listing agent. I make it clear that if the other side would rather I not be there, then I'm not going to attempt to force my way in. I have yet to have anyone say that it's a problem for me to be there.

Laura- I feel the same way.

Mike- I can see where it would be strange for the seller themselves to be present, and I have not had an owner come to an inspection when I was the listing agent.


Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

Zane- I can understand that stance on things my friend, thanks for stopping by.

Suzanne- Here we have to send a copy of the inspection report to the listing agent and seller if the deal falls through due to inspections. Therefore if there are issues on the inspection, we then have knowledge of them when the deal falls through, because of the nature of our contracts.

Bill- I can't complain with that sir.

Audrey- It would appear that at least today, great minds do think alike. Thank you for coming by and commenting.

John- I like to get a first hand response on things.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

JL  I think you should be there with the inspector also.  I teach my agent/owners that they really need to be there -- I believe that you owe that to your client. Thanks for sharing -- great post.

Mama Liz's Signature

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 11 years ago

JL, I can see why you are a top agent, because you care about your clients FIRST and work hard to represent them.  On the one hand, it's important to get the information first-hand, when you can look at it in person, that is doing a great job for your clients.  On the other hand, home inspectors HATE it when we follow them around the property and look over their shoulder.  It's distracting and it make the inspection take much longer.  The solution:  Go to the home inspection at the end!  If the inspector knows you're going to meet him there, he'll have a draft of the report ready, photos done, and will be happy to point out the major issues.

Posted by Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) over 11 years ago

Liz- I feel I owe it, and that's why I do it.

Regina- I can see where anyone would hate to be followed around and stared at. I never do that, I just open the door and then move aside and if there is something important for the inspector to pass on or show me, I will be there.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago

JL- well, that would make life easier then.  If that were the case, I would definitely attend as the seller's agent.  So, I could see firsthand what the issues were.  But, I don't think I would want my sellers there, it might make the buyers uncomfortable.  And, since they are paying for it, they should be allowed the "space" to ask anything they choose to. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 11 years ago

I personally am never there 8) I know that my trusted project manager will be there!

Posted by Jamie Boney (Mungo Homes) over 11 years ago

Hi JL!  I always attend my buyer's home inspections, but when I am the listing agent, it's kind of unspoken that we are not really to attend due to the liability of hearing something that the buyer may have missed and then being held accountable for it.   The likelihood of me hearing something (with my hearing) that someone else doesn't are slim and none, but our brokers would prefer we not attend.  I chuckled at your other post about the fast talking, high pitched buyer!  I wouldn't have caught a single word from that guy!!  xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 11 years ago

Suzanne- I go for the first hand experience, it will all have to be disclosed before the deal is done anyway.

Jamie- I'll take your word for it.

Susan- I think it's an unspoken thing in a lot of places for the listing agent not to be there.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 11 years ago