Should The Seller Be Present At A Home Inspection?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Home inspections are serious business which makes it such an important event for people to attend. However, there are only a few parties who are expected to show. That being said, should the seller attend the home inspection?

The seller should not be present at the buyer’s home inspection. This can cause the buyer to feel uncomfortable, or it can cause tension with the buyer and buyer’s agent, ultimately risking the sale. The seller should ensure the inspector has access to paperwork on the home, as well as the electrical boxes and storage areas, before leaving.

It can be confusing who should and should not show up for a home inspection. Below, we will give you some clarity on this matter. Let’s get started!

Is the Seller Entitled to be Present for the Home Inspection?

The seller has the right to attend the home inspection. However, they don’t have to go just because it’s still their home. Opting out of attending the home inspection is usually for the best.

The presence of a seller during the home inspection can, first and foremost, be a deterrent to the inspection’s success. Sellers can obstruct an inspection unintentionally or by attempting to assist the inspector, and they can obstruct communication between the buyer and inspector just by being present.

Buyers are hesitant to ask the inspector questions if the seller is there. It’s easy for a Seller to monopolize the house inspector’s time with questions and comments in the spirit of being helpful and open. However, this keeps the buyers from asking the questions they need to.

Why Should the Seller be Present at the Home Inspection?

While it’s typically best that the seller is not present for the inspection, it’s best to consider both sides. So, what are the reasons the seller should be present during the inspection?

It’s Their House

Realtors, purchasers, and home inspectors are unable to physically remove the items from the seller’s property. So it may be beneficial to have the seller present. That being said, the seller also may not feel comfortable having their home open to strangers.

Transparent Deal

It’s something we’ve seen and heard before… On rare occasions, a completely transparent real estate transaction occurs. Obviously, this has disadvantages, such as a loss of bargaining strength. On the other hand, a completely transparent transaction in which the seller attends the inspection and hears all of the facts may put everyone at rest.

Furthermore, informing the seller of the problems guarantees that all flaws are “on the table,” resulting in fewer tense talks. Is there a leak in the roof? Is the wall in danger of collapsing? Everyone is aware of the issues and can work out a fair agreement.

Inspector Access

All too often, the seller’s personal belongings obstruct vital inspection access to components such as the electrical panel. The seller can easily shift items that are in the way rather than postponing the inspection or paying for a re-inspection.

Home inspectors are not permitted to handle personal things and rely mainly on realtors and sellers to properly prepare the home for the examination. It’s worth mentioning that in some cases, realtors can relocate personal goods if they’re ready to take risks.


Inspectors may not be aware that something has been renovated and may search for permit paperwork or even shutter documentation. Attending the inspection with the seller can provide the inspectors with documents or information of when the modifications were completed.

Why Should the Seller be Absent at the Home Inspection?

This can happen when the seller and the buyer are simply not compatible. The buyer may despise how the seller has designed the home, while the seller may feel insulted if the buyer wants to “alter” things. Therefore, there are some reasons the seller should not attend the home inspection.

Seller Can Get in the Way

Some sellers simply don’t realize that this is a buyer’s inspection. They may ask questions that the inspector cannot answer due to confidentiality concerns, or they may obstruct the inspection process.

Because the seller is theoretically entitled to be there, it can be tough to deal with, and a realtor/inspector may have to tell the seller to leave respectfully.

Buyer Should feel Comfortable

Because it is the buyer’s inspection, the buyer should feel entirely at ease asking whatever questions they wish. When the seller is there, the buyer may feel uneasy about asking questions that could be perceived as disparaging to their home.

Sometimes you’ll get buyers who are very blunt and who aren’t shy to speak their minds. The seller can misconstrue this as ‘rudeness’ when in all actuality, it’s just business. After all, the buyer is about to pay a pretty penny for the home. So if the seller isn’t there, no feelings get hurt.

Who Orders the Home Inspection When Buying a Home?

A house inspection is an essential element of any real estate transaction, but who schedules one? While buyers are typically responsible for requesting and paying for a home inspection, proactive sellers can get ahead of the game.

They do this by booking and paying for an inspection before ever listing their home. In any case, home inspections are a crucial step that should not be overlooked!

  • The buyer pays for the house inspection in a standard home inspection when wanting to buy. The buyer is conducting due diligence on their investment and requires this information in order to proceed with their purchase.
  • The seller pays for the house inspection in a seller inspection for more information. This is due to the seller’s need for information about their property in order to speed up the sale process and avoid problems before they emerge.

As you can see, who buys the home inspection depends on the reasoning for it. If the seller is planning to sell the home but wants an inspection first, of course, the buyer isn’t going to pay that.

Are Buyers Waiving Home Inspections?

Home inspections are often waived by eager purchasers. In December 2020, according to Redfin, the home inspection was bypassed in more than 30% of successful bids submitted by its agents. That data includes offers in four cities: Boston, Portland, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and the state of New Jersey.

The pressure to produce a good offer can be tremendous when there are numerous buyers bidding for the same listing. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Trends Report from the fourth quarter of 2020 indicated that being outbid was the most prevalent reason purchasers cited for not yet purchasing a home. This is why buyers are waiving the inspections!

Who Attends Home Inspection by State

It’s not a one-size-fits-all state to state when it comes to parties who attend home inspections. Therefore, we hand-selected a few states who have different guidelines for home inspections.

Who Attends a Home Inspection in Florida?

There are several people who attend home inspections in Florida, including:

  • The home inspector: The house inspector is the only person who is required to be there; after all, they are the ones who are conducting the inspection.
  • Buyer and/or buyer’s agent: Attending the home inspection is a good idea for the buyer since it will give them the opportunity to ask the inspector questions about the home’s various systems and learn about maintenance.

Who Attends a Home Inspection in Texas?

  • Homebuyers: In a nutshell, homebuyers should always attend home inspections in Texas since they want to learn everything they can about the house and may have various questions. It is not, however, required.
  • Family and friends: It’s also not uncommon for moms, dads, or even friends to attend a house inspection, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea. While it’s good to have their support and comments, it can cause the house inspector to become distracted.

Imagine attempting to accomplish your job while being interrupted by a slew of various voices, all speaking at the same time. To perform the work on schedule, the home inspector requires uninterrupted time.

Who Attends a Home Inspection in California?

  • Homebuyer and agent: Traditionally, the home buyer and their real estate agent attend the home inspection together. After all, it’s in the best interests of property purchasers to avoid making a terrible investment. Homebuyers may wish to attend the home inspection in order to discuss any discoveries that the inspector may have discovered.
  • Home seller: Frequently, sellers will attend their own home’s inspection. Although this can be inconvenient for the buyer (and others), the seller has the right to do so. It is, after all, their home.

Similarly, real estate agents will almost always be present at the home inspection. Rarely an agent does not attend an inspection; in California, it’s sort of their job.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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