Should the seller be at the home inspection?

Monday, August 13, 2018

   Homeowners often use what seems like a logical reason to stick around for the inspection: they can answer any questions that the buyer or the inspector might have, since they know the place better than anyone else. Unfortunately, though, it is never in the seller’s best interest to attend the home inspection. Here’s four reasons why:

1) The buyer and seller may not like each other. It is not unusual after a tough negotiation for both parties to think the other is an unreasonable jerk. The presence of the seller in the house may make the buyer uncomfortable.

2) The buyer and home inspector cannot talk openly while the seller is hovering nearby. Open and frank communication about the defects found and the remedies recommended will flow smoothly without the seller interjecting “let me tell why it is that way” or “I had no idea that was there!”

3) Buyers and sellers are emotional. Buying a house is a big, expensive proposition that makes both parties anxious. Tempers can flare, and It can get ugly over even a minor problem, especially when buyer and seller disagree face-to-face during the inspection. The presence of the seller can negatively impact the buyer’s perception of the house.

4) The inspection will take longer. Talking with both the buyer and seller will take the inspector longer, and the buyer can become annoyed with a seller that wants to discuss everything at length with the inspector.

   If the seller wants to be able to answer questions about the house during the inspection, he or she can be be available by phone if anything comes up. It’s uncomfortable to know that strangers are opening your closets and poking around in your attic while you are somewhere else, but it is ultimately better for everybody if the seller stays away.

    Also, see our blog posts Does the seller get a copy of the home inspection report? and Should I follow the inspector around during the inspection? 

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.


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