Sellers and Home Inspections
As home owners and sellers, it’s really, really, REALLY tempting to hang around during the buyer inspections. It’s human nature to be a little skittish about strangers wandering through your house and the curiosity about the process can be overwhelming for some people.
We’ve seen sellers that park themselves in the living room during the entire inspection.
We’ve seen sellers that follow the home inspector around, touting the virtues of their house right up until the inspector finds something seriously wrong.
Heck, we’ve even seen owners that dig in their heels and deny that there’s anything wrong with the house at all, despite having an expert show them the proof.
Recently, one of our agents came back to the office with the best story yet that drives home the need for sellers to scoot, skedaddle, vamoose and disappear during the inspections.
The agent was representing a buyer and when they showed up for the home inspections, the owner was present and stayed the entire time. I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I could spend 2-3 hours in my house with people and not have small talk take place.
During that time, while the inspector was doing his job, our agent began chatting with the owners. She discovered that Mr. and Mrs. Seller were in the middle of building a new house and needed the money to finish construction. She learned that they were excited about the new place and impatient for the house to be finished so they could move and get settled quickly.
Sounds innocent enough, right?
By the end of the inspections, she knew that Mr. and Mrs. Seller were extremely motivated to sell and would probably do just about anything to ensure the sale moved forward. That knowledge absolutely worked against the owners when the buyers made their repair requests and stood firm that they would back out of the deal and find another house if the requested repairs were not completed before the act of sale.
What did the sellers do wrong?
They tipped their hand to the other side – never a good strategy when negotiating. They gave away their power to an agent that was representing someone else and who had the goal of getting the buyers the best deal possible.
What should they have done?
Unless there are extremely complicated systems in a home that require instruction, there’s never a need for an owner to be present during inspections. Even then, it’s better to give those instructions to the inspector and then leave.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your home in the hands of another agent, ask your own agent to attend and keep an eye on things. Their job is to protect you.
Sometimes it’s to protect you from yourself.