Usually, when someone is beginning the process of purchasing a home, they first choose their real estate agent, they finally find a house, and then that agent refers them to a home inspector. However, it may actually be more beneficial for home buyers to reverse this, choosing your home inspector first and then asking their opinion on a real estate agent.
Do not get home inspectors wrong here. We know that a vast majority of real estate agents really do care about the home buyer. However some can be influenced and motivated to act in ways that are less in the best interest of the buyers. We have known real estate agents to never use a home inspection company for anyone except for themselves or family.
Real estate agents are paid on commission, and that commission doesn’t come unless a home buyer makes a purchase. The agent needs you to buy the home, and there are a few unethical real estate agents who aren’t above lying to a client or downplaying a home’s issues to make sure a sale goes through. The commission can be enough to alter the level of being above board an agent will be.
An established, well reviewed home inspection company most likely knows which agents you can put your trust in. A well established home inspection company also knows which agents have asked them to leave details out of the report. The inspection company may not tell you negative things specifically regarding an agent, however they could easily suggest an agent to you. You can trust the home inspection company because the company needs you to have a great experience with them, as reviews and word of mouth are very important to them. How will their company look if you discover your new home has structural problems shortly after moving in when it becomes an issue? In addition, the home inspection company gets paid whether or not you purchase the home; this means they don’t have possible motivation to lie to push a sale that the real estate agents have. A home inspectors best interest is to be accurate and honest.
Of course, there are amazing real estate agents out there who care very much about their clients. You just have to take your time and take care in who you choose. Your home inspector is a great person to ask when you are beginning your search for agents and a home.