Most real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers. Buyers looking for homes and sellers wanting to sell their homes. Bottom-line, the agent only gets paid if the deal closes.

Standing between the agent and the closing is the home inspector.

It’s been my experience that a lot of real estate agents fear home inspectors. Mostly, it’s the agent on the seller’s side that fears them, because home inspectors have a way of finding problems, which means a buyer might want to renegotiate the offer price, meaning the seller might get mad, meaning a deal might fall apart. And a seller’s agent doesn’t want that to happen. Of course, the buyer’s agent doesn’t want the deal to fall apart, either, but the buyer’s agent feels a bit of pleasure, as the power shifts from seller to buyer. The buyer has the option to walk away if anything of significance is found during a home inspection, and no seller wants to lose a potential buyer, especially in this day and age.

Here’s the other problem: the same real estate agents who work on behalf of sellers also work on behalf of buyers, a lot of the time. So, if a home inspector is too tough on a seller, then that seller’s agent won’t turn around and use him/her next time the agent has a buyer.

So, home inspectors are often accused of “going easy” on sellers.

The home inspectors I’ve worked with, on behalf of buyers, have always done a great job. There have been many instances where they found significant problems that we didn’t know about. Buyers either renegotiated the sales prices or walked away. Money well-spent.

If you are buying a home, always have a home inspection. Find a trusted inspector by asking friends or family for recommendations. If you can’t do that, ask your buyer’s agent. A seller’s agent is forbidden from giving you names of potential home inspectors.

Here’s a question and answer from an agent and a columnist.

Dear Barry,

As a real estate broker, I read your column regularly and with great interest. But some of your articles trouble me. They suggest that Realtors routinely avoid the most thorough home inspectors and that they even label good inspectors as “deal killers.” This charge seems unfair and in poor taste. Good agents, whether they represent buyers or sellers, want an inspector to perform a thorough inspection. Would you be willing to rethink your position on this? –Terry

Dear Terry,

Let’s both give some thought to this issue.

The articles you mention were never intended to offend, but to shed light on an entrenched ethics problem that infects not all but many in the real estate profession: namely, the conflict of interest when Realtors refer home inspectors to their clients. Some will flinch at the voicing of this matter, preferring to deny its existence. But there is an elephant in the room, and it cries to be recognized.

Source: You’re ‘too scary for my buyers’; Why some agents don’t refer best home inspectors – By Barry Stone, Inman News

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