During the home-buying process, it’s crucial for a buyer to make sure the property is in excellent condition. The only way to do this is to hire a qualified home inspector to scrutinize the home for any issues. Many agents will recommend one or more inspectors to their buyers – however, buyers may have doubts about this. They worry that if the agent’s goal is to sell a home and earn a commission, they may collude with inspectors in order to hide property issues from a perspective buyer.
However, this scenario is unlikely for several reasons:
- The real estate market is extremely competitive. 90% of homes are sold by only 10% of the real estate agents. Any damage to an agent’s reputation could cause their business to suffer greatly, especially if it becomes known that an agent is purposefully deceiving their clients. Additionally, an agent who has been working in the industry for years is most likely trustworthy.
- Agents want their buyers to have full disclosure. Agents wouldn’t want to pressure a home inspector to provide faulty reports. They stay in business by having their buyers’ best interests at heart, which definitely doesn’t include attempting to deceive them about the state of a home.
- Referrals are crucial for an agent’s success. Just as buyers rely on agents for a successful home buying experience, agents rely on buyers to refer them to other potential buyers. Word-of-mouth recommendations are crucial in real estate – and cheated clients won’t refer agents to anyone.
- Agents don’t want angry buyers coming back. Even after a sale is complete, a buyer who has been deceived about the state of a home can still get back to the agent. No agent wants to accept any blame or liability for a home’s safety or maintenance issues that their home inspector may have missed. Because of this, they’re motivated to only recommend the most qualified home inspectors.
- Agents are uniquely positioned to recommend home inspectors. The truth is, most people only deal with home inspectors a few times over their lives. Real estate agents, however, frequently interact with home inspectors and know the in-and-outs of the process. Being able to work with local inspectors over and over allows them to witness an inspector’s thoroughness.
So should you choose a home inspector suggested by an agent? At the end of the day, whether you use a home inspector recommended by your agent is your own decision. You should be wary of any agents that pressure you to use only their list of home inspectors – just as you should be wary of working with any agent that you can’t fully trust. However as long as your agent is honest and competent, then there’s no reason that you shouldn’t use an inspector that they recommend.