Thursday, February 17, 2005

Who's on your side?

As the home buying season gets back into full swing, I typically get a number of calls from potential clients who call to get information about home inspections. After explaining the services that I provide and quoting them a price, they usually agree to have me perform their home inspection and we tentatively discuss a date and time. The buyer's next step is to set up a firm appointment with their real estate agent for me to do the inspection. It is after this point that I often never hear from the home buyers again.

Why?

Often it's because the real estate agent has persuaded the home buyer to either not have an inspection done or to use some other inspector that they recommend, usually the latter. The important question that needs to be asked by the home buyer is: whose interests does the real estate agent truly represent? Those of the buyer or those of the seller? In almost all circumstances, unless the buyer has executed a buyer's agency agreement with the real estate agent, that agent legally represents the interests of the seller. This is the case, even if the agent has shown a number of different homes to the prospective buyers that are listed by different agencies.

So now the question is, if the home buyer selects a home inspector recommended by an agent that technically represents the seller, is that in the home buyer's best interests?

I'll leave the answer to that question up to you. For more information on Buyer's Agency, visit http://realtor.com/Basics/AllAbout/Realtors/Represent.asp?poe=realtor.