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Buyer's Agent Doesn't Want In Inspection


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The realtor's fiduciary responsibility is always to the seller, regardless of affiliation. That's what realtors are; sellers representatives.

The only thing that trumps that is if the buyer has a signed affadavit saying the realtor is a buyer's broker.

Anyone ever seen one of those affadavits?

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I have a family member whom actually prefers working with the sellers agent,as the agent smells keeping both sides of the commision.

Sensing a double commision can cause concessions to made on the part of the buyer,so it is all in how you play it.

If you think about it he may be on to something.

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We just started having contracted buyers agency agreements last July in Wisconsin. I have actually seen cases where the agent was upset because the inspector didn't list every little scratch in the house. I think they were looking for ammo to beat the listing party up on price. This could be interesting.

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I hope to meet an agent like that someday. Their expectations need to be adjusted down a bit, but it's always nice to see someone who cares about the buyer - besides us. You've given me some hope.

Originally posted by carle3

We just started having contracted buyers agency agreements last July in Wisconsin. I have actually seen cases where the agent was upset because the inspector didn't list every little scratch in the house. I think they were looking for ammo to beat the listing party up on price. This could be interesting.

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Originally posted by kurt

Interesting. Anyone ever seen a real buyer's agent?

A few folks tried to get that going here about 20 years ago, but no one (realtor) would talk w/them. They were viewed as turncoats, fools, and not worth serious consideration.

I see it on most transactions. The agents like it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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We've got them here. In Washington, there are buyer's agents and listing agents. Agents can do both if they desire, but if they agree to function as a dual agent on a home that they've listed, they can get in a heap of trouble if they don't go to the mat for the buyer and the buyer can prove that they didn't. It's the "proving it" that's hard.

Among the buyer's agents, you have two categories. The one's who will fight tooth and nail to get their clients the best deal possible, and the one's who will do whatever it takes, short of appearing complicit, to get the house sold for as much as possible - including trying to manipulate the inspector in any way, shape or form, pulling shenanigans with reports, etc. and telling the clients that so-and-so inspector is incompetent but those on their "list" are - which is often simply not true.

I get repeat referrals from the first category all the time. The second category I usually see when the client learns about me from one of their friends or relatives, or when the agent has previously met me on an inspection years before and is now purchasing a home, or when their client is an attorney, a celebrity or just someone who's so stinkin' rich that they can ruin the realtor in a second. Then they call.

I did an inspection on a FSBO yesterday. The person who referred me to the client is an agent who's been referring work to me for years. She isn't getting a dime out of this transaction and knows it, but she has this attitude that what goes around comes around, so, if she does right by someone, they'll tell others and that means more business for her. Heck, she even went over there to the house to introduce me to the owner, because my client couldn't be at the inspection. As soon as she'd made the intros, she left. Definitely not one of the 'zoids.

The agents who refer me repeatedly are all pretty much like that. I used to track their numbers and found that the ratio was about 6 to 1 buyers agents who were 'zoids versus buyer's agents who were true real estate professionals.

Since I do zero marketing and am still in this gig after 11 years, I've become convinced that all you have to do to survive in this business is do what's right, regardless of the consequences, and the agents that end up referring you will only be those who are similarly inclined. Do it long enough, and it will more than support your business. I fervently wish we could convince more of the brethren to take that approach.

Sadly, there's the other side of the coin. We have this class of inspector who is only in it for the money, who doesn't do what's right, and worries more about the consequences to his or her business of what they write, and whether it will quash their referrals. They focus on not being an "alarmist" and doing whatever it takes to give the buyer a warm and fuzzy without "technically" crossing the line, even if it means that they might be just slightly less than diligent in their recommendations.

These are the folks that the 'zoids love. The 'zoid "list" is usually populated with half a dozen of these types, so the 'zoid can be relatively certain of the inspection outcome. If they've managed to survive without being sued out of business, those inspectors have work backed up the yazoo and, a presume, a fatter bank account that I suppose they need to defend themselves against callback.

I've also noticed that it's the 'zoid coveting inspectors who've been in this gig for a long time that seem to squawk the most when it comes to any discussion about raising the bar or putting home inspection laws into place. It might be my imagination, but I think their number is increasing, because, around here, they've practically overrun this business in the past few years.

Still, as Les has shown, the tortoise can get there,...eventually. It's just a slower, more difficult slog.

Someday, someday.



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Eighty percent or so of all the inspections we do are coordinated by a Buyer Agent. In our market, an agent acting on behalf of the buyer is foolish to not recommend the best possible inspector; credential and skill wise. They get into trouble when they intentionally recommend any inspector that can be easily proven to be a suck-up. Lots of problems when you have an agency that has a paid preferred list of service providers and one of those providers may be less skilled than a non-listed provider. IE: Puchinilli Inspections pays $650 per year to be on the preferred list, yet is not as skilled nor qualified as Scabelli Inspection Company, who did not pay!

It, that situation, is not a difficult job in court to prove there is a fiducary relationship. However, on a national level this very issue is being litigated. My attitude has always been to win in my local court and let the attys fight it out.

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