As a buyer’s real estate agent, you aren’t legally bound to be present during your client’s home inspection, however the benefits of an agent’s presence are massive and it’s common practice for you to be there.
For both the agent and the client, it’s not necessary for you to be present during the entire inspection. You’re not useful to the inspector if you’re hovering over them the whole time, you’re not able to give any input (nobody likes backseat drivers,) so the only step where you’re needed is for the client’s inspection review. Once the entire inspection is done, it’s time for the two of you to sit and hear the breakdown of what the inspector found.
Inspection reviews can be pretty intimidating. This holds especially true for a buyer who may be completely unfamiliar with the terminology, or who might be unable to decode whether or not the inspector has found something that needs to be fixed. This is where you can add value by being present for your client—you can essentially act as a translator. You’re there to let them know that everything is going to be okay (maybe in laymen’s terms,) or if there’s a major repair that needs to be made.
As their agent you can remind the client to ask all the right questions to ensure that everything has been properly looked over. What if the inspector forgot to check the water heater? What if you noticed a few shingles missing on the roof and the issue was never addressed? This is your time to nudge your client in the right direction. After all, if you prove that you’re there for them as a source of knowledge and support, that client is likely to come back to you next time they’re in need of a home.
Sometimes it may be necessary for the agent to be there if the client isn’t in town. For example, some clients may be purchasing in one state but haven’t yet moved to the state they’re buying in. On occasion, a client may be called on a last-minute work trip or a family emergency out of state. Anything can happen and as their buying agent, it’s important to be their ears for when they can’t be there in person. The inspector will still ultimately relay the information (maybe by phone or via email,) but an agent’s presence on the scene can give your client security knowing a professional was around.
Being present also allows the agent to help their buyer rehash the facts. What was checked for, what was found, what might have been overlooked, etc. This helps the client refresh their memories and is useful for when the two of you sit down to write the buyer’s inspection notice.
Lastly, because agents know what’s going on, you can tell whether or not the inspector was good or bad. While you can’t say outright that the client should get another inspection (because that could put your license in jeopardy,) you can strongly encourage the client to get a second opinion.
In the end, you’re there to be a fountain of knowledge and a pillar of trust for your client. Establish your report and show up to their inspection because it’s the right thing to do. You’ll have a repeat client, and hopefully, many referrals coming your way in the future!