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What real estate agents need to know about inspections

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Residential Real Estate |

Real estate professionals typically know how to spot glaring issues with a property after years of completing walkthroughs and estimating the fair market value of a property on behalf of their clients. However, outside inspections are still a critical step in many real estate transactions.

Lenders typically require inspections and also appraisals to protect them against financing transactions wherein they risk the ability to recoup the money provided to purchase the property. Although the inspection process typically involves bringing in an outside professional, a buyer’s agent should be aware of several key concerns related to who should and should not be around during an inspection.

Their presence can be beneficial

When inspectors have at least some idea of what the buyers need from the property, what they noticed before and what they can contribute to its maintenance and upkeep, they can focus their inspection accordingly.

While they will obviously need to check the same basic issues at every property, the tone of their report can vary drastically in different situations. A property that may be in decent condition for a young couple just starting out may receive a more negative inspection report if the buyers are already past retirement age. A buyer’s agent often needs to be present to watch the inspection and ensure that the process considers the needs of the buyer.

The seller’s agent should not be there

It is the obligation of the seller and their agent to proactively disclose all known defects with the property, including defects that would be hard to spot in a cursory walkthrough. After providing that disclosure, they should not need to communicate directly with the inspector. It is common for the seller and their agent to remain away from the property for the duration of the inspection process so that they do not influence its outcome.

Waiving inspections appeals to some buyers

Those making a cash purchase or buying a seller-financed property are often eager to avoid costs that they don’t absolutely have to incur before closing. Inspection fees are among the costs that buyers may try to avoid. Agents may want to discuss the risks involved in waiving an inspection and explain the limitations of what they can find in a walkthrough so that buyers may choices that protect their needs and their financial resources.

Agents also need to be ready to negotiate on behalf of a buyer if there are issues that turn up during an inspection. Taking thoughtful steps while preparing for an inspection during a residential real estate transaction can benefit agents who represent perspective homeowners in Florida. Seeking legal guidance when questions arise can be very helpful too.