Should the Buyer be present during "Their" home inspection?

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May 09 2012 - Dana Point
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    I think buyers should always be at home inspections. They will learn so much more by the inspectors explanation in person as compared to a sheet of paper. Also, the inspector can show them where all the main shut-offs are (gas, water, electric) in case of emergency down the road. 
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    May 09 2012
    An inspector is hired by the buyer to perform a duty and identify everything that may require repair in a property or items that are not up to building code. No inspector would be able to do he/his best job while being questioned by the buyers. The best way to handle it is to allow the inspector to perform his/her job during the first 2 or 3 hours and upon completion of the inspection allow the last 30 minutes for the buyers to come and review the report and ask any questions they may have.
    This is the most productive way for all parties.
    Even if a property is vacant, this is the most effective way to utilize an inspector time to perform her/his job. I have worked with many inspector and non would like to be followed every step of the way during the inspection.
    Most properties inspection could take between 2 to 4 hours, however, buyers presence will prolong this to 6 hours and many owners resent long inspection period. 
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    August 27 2013
    It is always recommended that the buyer be present but keep one thing in mind. Depending on the size of the home and other conditions a proper thorough inspection can take 2 1/2 to 4 hours.

    I just had lunch with a realtor friend and she told me about an inspection of a 3,800 sq ft home that took over 4 hours and the buyer was there the whole time. By the time the inspection was complete the buyer was worn out and ready to go and did not want to even hear the summary report directly from the inspector.

    You need to be present to get the most for your money but you need to decide do you have the time and patience to be there for the complete inspection. For some it might be best to get an estimate from the inspector on when he thinks he will be complete and show up maybe 30 minutes ahead and go thru the details of the report first hand with the inspector.

    Ultimately it's the buyers call but at Sharp Inspections we always prefer the buyer to be present.
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    August 03 2013
    I think there is issue with this getting interpreted as being at the property for the entire inspection.  The problem you run into in this situation is numerous.  What  if the house is occupied?  Is it the inspectors responsibility to be monitoring  the buyers activity in the home while he/she is also under the house and on the roof?  What if the buyers shows up with family and there are numerous individuals at the home while the inspector is there?  What if the buyer wants to go up the ladder on the roof and gets injured... who is liable?  Inspector?  Home Owner?  Buyer?

    The personal inspections, room measurements, and general tire kicking should already be done before spending money on inspections.  If the heirloom 10' tall entertainment center from Aunt Bessie wont fit with 8' ceilings, then a decision needs to be made before hauling out the credit card for an inspection.

    The best solution, in my opinion, is to arrange to meet at the property immediately after the inspection with the inspector, go through the show n tell of issues with the inspector, and ask the questions.  If you made a list of personal observations when you were with your realtor, bring it along so you can ask the inspector.   This allows the inspector to do their job and focus on the home, and then have a sit down with the client.  The questions get answered, an no one has to answer about who pilfered the medicine cabinet.
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    August 02 2013
    Great replys everyone. Let's consider the buyer has maybe been in the prospective property once or twice in many cases for as little as 10-15 minutes. The inspection for a 1600'sf SFD will normally take from 2.5 - 3.0 hours to complete.

    This is the buyers opportunity to spend quality time on property. They'll be able to witness the dedication, performance and quality of their inspector or lack thereof. It's a chance for them to measure rooms, cabinets, storage areas, etc.. They can have their painting, flooring or other contractors present during the inspection.

    The buyers should be able to interact with the inspector and other contractors during the process. If and when you're involved in a real estate litigation case one of the first questions to arise is "Was the Buyer present at time of inspection"? then comes, "If not, why not"? You don't want the answer to be "My Agent told me to come by at the end of the inspection".

    Remember, we not only want escrow to close, we want it to stay closed and have many referrals as a result of same.
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    May 09 2012
    Hi,
    We always recommend for our buyer clients to be present during the inspection. Although the inspection report is extremely thorough, we believe it's important to have the buyer present so the inspector can first hand point out potential repair concerns and future maintenance issues as well as important features of the home such as gas and water shut off valves and electrical panels.
    The inspection report can make things look much worse than they are and the inspector can help ease concerns by explaining the true severity of the items being called out in the report.
    As a buyer, it's important to know everything you can about the home you will be living in for years to come. A good home inspector can help point out the various features and aspects of the property from construction details to cosmetic work, they are the true experts and can help the new home owner gain knowledge about their home.
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    May 09 2012
    The buyer should always be present to make listen to any recommendations that the home inspector may give.  You will know what upgrades are needed.
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    May 09 2012
    Even though many inspection reports are thorough, there is no replacement for walking through the house with a qualified inspector, listening to his observations and comments and having a chance to ask questions while inside the house. It may be easy to miss important maintenance and repair needs if the buyer does not show up for the inspection.
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    May 09 2012
    it's their choice.  I reccommend it.  they are Paying for the inspection.
    they are the ones that have an interest in knowing the inspector really checked things.   they are the ones that need to hear inspector comments first hand when the inspector is done, so that when they get the report it makes more sense. etc.

    in fact anytime a buyer is NOT present during inspections I would almost expect an inspector make them sign something saying they chose not to be present to receive verbal review etc.
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    May 09 2012
    YES!!! If the buyer can be present, they most certainly should be there to see any issues up front. Buyer's agents can step in with or for their buyers to help with the process. Most home inspection reports come with photos of issues but those summary pages can feel overwhelming to a buyer. I think you get a much better idea of the quality of the home in person.

    If the buyer's agent is present, they will also have a better idea of the issues facing the buyers and will be able better educated when the repair request is presented to the seller's agent.
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    May 09 2012
    Yes, a buyer being present at the inspection will help them to learn about how all the major components of home operate.  Any general maintenance will be disclosed and the buyer can ask questions for full benefit of their investment. 
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    May 09 2012
    I agree if possible, the buyer should be present, at least at the end of the home inspection, to review with the home inspector the issues with the property. The buyer can see with their own eyes, instead of by photos in a report. When you see it for yourself, it is easier to understand, plus you can ask questions. At the minimum, the buyer's agent should be present at the inspection.
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    May 09 2012
    Profile picture for sunnyview
    I think that buyers should be present for inspections. They can do an informal inspection of their own, write a list of things they see that they want to ask the inspector about and then talk to the inspector about his findings.
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    May 09 2012
     
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