Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Spam prevention
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Simple: I'd ask them to sign a waver to a home inspection and record it in follow up email describing what have happened, asking to confirm. All inspections are optional here in CA.

May 03, 2015 09:15 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

I agree with Gabe Sanders see what he says first. If everything looked ok then its no big deal but advise that you really need advice from an inspector familiar with the state laws.

May 03, 2015 06:31 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® What good is a home inspection without a written report? Unless it is for information purposes only.

May 03, 2015 11:13 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

An inspector is an inspector but here if it is not in writing it didn't exist. No report no inspection. 

May 03, 2015 10:26 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Interesting question, Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® Buyer certainly has  right to bring anyone they choose, including Dad and Uncle Bob. I would explain the risk and consequences and then have the buyer sign a waiver, noting the facts.

May 03, 2015 10:18 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

As long as the buyers are aware that without a written report they most likely won't be able to request any repairs, it is up to them whom they choose for their inspections. 

May 03, 2015 10:17 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I think if you have a buyer's agency agreement you owe that buyer this information.    The inspection report needs to be in writing, and why are they paying for this?   I would definitely have them sign a waiver to protect yourself.

May 03, 2015 09:58 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

First I would let the buyer know this is a potential problem.

Then, I would wait to see what the inspection report says.  If it has some funky items that are not germane to your typical local inspections than I would let the buyer know it will be a problem.

May 03, 2015 05:56 AM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Any time a home inspector ventures out side his territory there will always be the risk that they are not aware of things peculiar or specific to that other area.

May 04, 2015 12:29 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales
  1. Warn them the inspector may not be famiiar with your state codes.
  2. Have them sign a waiver.
May 03, 2015 10:23 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 what is the point of having the inspection? The purpose of having the inspection is to have something in writing.

May 03, 2015 06:56 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I haven't had this happen. In my state home inspectors don't have to be licensed. Since this is a rural area, I know most of the inspectors. They all seem to do a great job, but if it did come up, I like Inna Ivchenko answer. 

May 03, 2015 10:30 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Being licensed in another state means nothing outside of that state. I would not prevent an inspector selected by the buyer from doing an inspection. I would point out that an inspector who is licensed in another state (inspectors are not licensed in California) may not be familiar with building codes, laws and customs in another state. The value of the report would be questionable.

May 03, 2015 08:34 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

That's a tough one Hella. Without a written report there is no validity, especially if you have to go back to the seller. Having said that, I would not stand in the way of the inspector.

May 03, 2015 08:10 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

verbal is not going to be valid in court.... insist that there be a written report on record....or the attorney for the seller and agent better have a tightly woven agreement that protects the parties in the future....

May 03, 2015 06:14 AM
Rita Harris
W.P. & Assoc. - Seattle, WA
Specialty: Immigrant families & vintage homes

In our area where we have a very fast market, I have run across buyers who bring Dad, Uncle, inspectors who do the inspection and YOU, the buyer take your own notes.  Most times, it takes too long to write up the report and you could lose the house waiting for the pre-inspection appointment or report....

May 04, 2015 01:23 PM
Tony Romero
Autaugaville, AL
A Positive Force in Real Estate

I would get into "curiosity" and ask why on earth would my client want to use an inspector that will not provide a written report?  I would advise them with a little wiosdon - "The weakest Ink is stronger than the best memory!"  "If he finds 50 things that need repair, do you believe you will remember them all?"Laws and standards vary from state to state, so I would consult with the buyer and ask, "Do you see the wisdom and common sense in using the very best qualified inspector?"  They would have to answer, in the affirmative.  

The real question is why they would show up with an out of state inspector who will not provide a written report - especially if you the agent have provided them a thorough overview of the process?!  It makes no sense.  Nevertheless, there is always a first time for everything.  As one of the other agents recommended - depending upon the insistance of the consumer, I would get a document waiving a licensed inspector as being their decision and acknowledge that they were advised to use a local licensed professional who would provide a written report.  

May 04, 2015 03:03 AM
Joe Nernberg
Westlake Village, CA
AmeriSpec Inspection Services

Actually, it is unlawful in California to provide anything other than a "written" inspection report. Though we are not licensed, there are references in the Business & Profession code that regulate home inspectors. I believe section 7195 covers this mandate.

May 04, 2015 02:57 AM
Bill Morrow
Keller Williams of Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
Bill Morrow, Associate Broker

I am of the understanding that NAHI and ASHI certifications were National Certifications. If the inspector were certified through one of those, what would the issue be? Many states use those credentials for their criteria of "licensure".


May 04, 2015 02:45 AM
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

I'd have them sign a waiver. I've had this happen. Wasn't my buyer but my listing, an REO in pretty rough shape. The buyer's agent included several inspections in the PA but they buyer decided she didn't want to pay for them so she had a "friend who is a contractor" look at the house for her. Her agent never told us she was waiving inspections and never got a waiver signed. A few weeks after closing she realized how bad the house was. Turned into a big mess.

May 04, 2015 02:38 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Are you a CA Agent.  Let them inspect.  No license required.  But if they want any repairs or modification of price they will then need a report.  It may be they are getting this done discounted and just want someone to do a walk through.

May 04, 2015 02:38 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Like, Inna just said, have them sign a waiver, stating they brought their own inspector. After all, it is their decision despite you trying to convince them otherwise.

May 04, 2015 02:37 AM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach

In Maryland, we are only allowed to recommend licensed home inspectors, but my buyers are free to use the inspector of their choice for the home inspection. However, if we ask the seller for any repairs, a copy of the written inspection report must accompany that request. So, I'd discuss this with the buyers and see how they would like to proceed. 

May 04, 2015 02:34 AM
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

I am not surprised. In years gone by, many a boyfriend has puffed out his chest, and did a home inspection for a girlfriend. I always asked the young lady, if loverboy missed an important item that winds up costing her thousands of dollars, would she take him to court? Would she file suit against dad or bubba? So, who is protecting you? Hire a licensed and certified home inspector, and order a home warranty.

Tennessee requires home inspectors to be licensed, in addition to REALTORS®, Appraisers, Attorneys and Mortgage Loan Officers.  I will remember this when the next well meaning person calls Tennessee "back woods."  I am smiling, but puzzled.

I was unprepared to learn that California does not license home inspectors. I would not have been surprised to learn that paperboys and dog walkers were required to be state licensed, but I learned something today.

May 04, 2015 01:45 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

It's their inspection. But I would have them sign off on our professional services disclosure form that they selected their own inspector who is not licensed in our state and won't do a written report. I would also remind them that without a written report it could be difficult to get a seller to agree to any repairs.

May 04, 2015 12:14 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I like to tell them up front during the offer making process what should be done next and what makes a good inspector. Here in Nh they dont have to be licensed so we get a lot of drifters from MA looking for work. Reputation is everything when hiring them. 

May 03, 2015 10:43 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I would strongly advise them to use an inspector licensed in our state.  Also the advise would be in writing.

May 03, 2015 09:56 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

If the report is not inwriting how will the buyer ask for repairs or credit for repairs from the seller? 

May 03, 2015 09:43 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® - usually I let buyers know that inspection is very important - so I'd recommend them my inspector. If they still go ahead with someone, I'd like the buyer to know that the inspector should be licensed to work in MA! And if they still want someone else....all the best!

May 03, 2015 02:47 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I guess I would tell the buer he is wasting his money.

May 03, 2015 02:07 PM
Eric Valente
Calabasas, CA

Many of our investor buyers are waving all inspections and contingencies, some of them do bring inspectors, but do not order an official report. 

May 03, 2015 11:55 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

First off ... I explain to my buyers (in writing) when they get an accepted offer that if they are going to want to ask the seller to fix, replace or repair any major defects they must use a Wisconsin Licensed Home Inspector and a Full Home Inspection Report must be prepared to give to the Seller (according to out Offer to Purchase).  If they chose to use an out-of-state Lender they would be using the inspector just for "their information purposes ONLY". 

I've never had a problem with a buyer not understanding this procedure.

May 04, 2015 02:50 PM
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

I inspected my daughter's family home purchase in Calgary. ReMax agent was there for the inspection. My daughter had the PDF that evening as did my son-in-law in Angola.

I am registered in ND and have tried to interest our MN legislative body in starting licensing in MN to no avail.

To perform an inspection in ND does require a ND registered inspector.

May 04, 2015 11:16 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

The buyer can have anyone come with to do the report in IL but in order to present themselves as credible they must be licensed. Uncle Waldo can do the inspection but if he asks for repairs it pretty much doesn't count. After all, buyer could hire tons on relatives to knock the price down with such erroneous repairs.

May 04, 2015 07:53 AM
Scott Fogleman
Richmond, VA

Our purchase agreement requires a written report by a licensed inspector or a licensed contractor in my state. I would make sure my buyer knows that their inspection could be not valid if they dont meet the requirements.

May 04, 2015 07:19 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I'm thinking that inspector may be a friend or relative, doing a favor. As most have said, have the buyers sign a waiver and explain about state codes and the fact that they can't ask the seller for repairs without a written report.

I'm really startled to read that California doesn't license inspectors - and that many other states also don't. Hairdressers yes - inspectors no? Odd! 

May 04, 2015 05:39 AM
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

The buyer brings an ispector from another state? Really? I've never seen that.

I'd ask why not use one from this state. If buyer says because I like this one. OK.

No written report? I'd get out "For Your Protection Get A Home Inspection (FHA)" and/or "Buyer Inspecion Waiver."

Either way is fine with me.


May 04, 2015 04:55 AM
Kevin Flinn
Platinum Realty LLC - Kansas City, MO

No written report means the buyers are buying the property as-is and you cannot use the inspection clause to cancell the deal.  As long as they are fine with that  then no big deal.

May 04, 2015 04:47 AM
Laura Moore
Coldwell Banker - Granite Bay, CA
Competent ~ Caring ~ Committed

Summarize and document it, have the client sign.

May 04, 2015 04:38 AM
Leslie Campos
Tierra Antigua Realty - Safford, AZ
The Only CRS in Graham County

After reading the responses, it sure seems like this is one area that varies significantly from state-to-state. In AZ, home inspectiors are licensed, but there is no requirement that a licensed person do aninspection. Our request for repairs forms are written by the agents and we don't always get copies of the written reports. If one of my buyers wants to use a licensed contractor or inspector familiar with AZ laws and the county requirements, there would be no problem. At the same time, if they want to use someone from a different states, even if licensed there, I would have them sign a waiver.

May 04, 2015 04:14 AM
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

This was common during the 2005-2006 debacle. Buyers would have an inspection done, no report, BEFORE putting a ridiculous offer on a house. Just have them sign an inspection waiver to cover your behind.

May 04, 2015 03:33 AM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Another scenario that makes me scratch my head, thanks for the post

May 04, 2015 03:03 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

No problem...they are now buying the house "as is". 

If they expect me to negotiate any repairs or price adjustments, I need to show proof to the Seller and LA that there really are issues.

Its that simple.


May 04, 2015 03:03 AM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

They are buying the house so they can have whoever they want inspect it.  I've had buyers use ASHI & CREIA inspectors that I didn't think were very good or thourough but my buyers selected them due to recommendation by family or friends.  A good contractor or home builder can certainly inspect a home - they don't need to be a dues paying member of a local organization.  

May 04, 2015 02:49 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I would discuss the issues with the buyer and have them sign an inspection waiver with the details noted (out of state, no report).

May 04, 2015 02:44 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Treat it the same as Uncle Joe.

The buyer will consider Uncle Joe's opinion and responds accordingly.

I really don't need an INSPECTORS report to substantiate the need to replace a rusty water heater or a Zensco power panel.

In the end the buyer will decide how much they want the house. Buyer B is just hours away.

May 04, 2015 12:20 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Thank you all for your answers. I did as Joe Petrowsky recommended, I did not stand in the way of the inspector. After all, in California, a home inspector does not have to be licensed. What initially concerned me was that there was no written report. However, if the buyer was good with that, there was no reason for me to say anything. As it turned out, the items that were of concern, were items that the seller should repair. All except one, and it was recommended by both the "inspector" and myself that the buyer hire a licensed inspector for that specific possible problem.

I don't believe I need a waiver from the buyer as to the home inspection itself just because there is none in writing. But I'm checking on that!

May 03, 2015 11:51 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Since a license is required and stated on the purchase contract in the small print. I would say that they were not welcome to inspect.

May 03, 2015 11:46 AM
Cindy Davis
SD Home Source Realty - San Diego, CA

At that point, probably nothing except have her sign a waiver to a home inspection. Generally however, I discuss inspections with my buyers once we open escrow, and give them several good names to pick from.

May 03, 2015 10:14 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

In would respond by pointing out that if you are not licensed as an inspector in the state of Oklahoma then you cannot site anything as defective, so enjoy your as is home.

May 03, 2015 08:52 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

I would have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with my buyer about an inspector not licensed where the property is located AND one not willing to write out a report.  It presents issues on the thoroughness of the inspection and the ability to ask for any repairs... a verbal inspection report is worth the paper it isn't written on.

May 03, 2015 08:34 AM
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
Movoto - Laguna Niguel, CA

I'd probably tell them it's fine to have the out of state inspector, but in doing so, they are acting against the broker's advice regarding inspection.  I'd have the buyers sign something stating they are aware they are acting against the broker's advice.

The sellers will likely want to see an inspection report if the buyers request any repairs.  The buyers should be prepared to have requests for repair rejected.  Of course, that goes for any transaction, but especially one in which the inspection is so non-traditional.

May 03, 2015 07:43 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Without photos and a written report, how does the buyer expect to ask for repairs or concessions from the seller? And if the inspector is from another state, it's highly unlikely that he is familiar with all current building codes.

May 03, 2015 07:21 AM
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert Realtors - Aspen Hill - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

Explain this could be a problem.

If an issue is uncovered the seller may take the tack that the home inspections was not completed by a licensed inspector in the agreed upon time and therefore not have to comply.  

Have subscribed to answers on the quesiton.  Would like to see the opion of others, or a clear statement from a settlement attorney.

May 03, 2015 07:11 AM
Evelyn M Epperson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Johns Creek, GA
A Tradition Of [Excellence, Trust & Service]

I would have a discuss the situation with my buyer immediately.  I would explain and write report is required etc. 

May 03, 2015 05:51 AM
Ajay Pandya
e-Merge Real Estate Unlimited - Columbus, OH
Realtor Ajay Pandya

I don't like it!

Aug 03, 2018 11:16 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Inna nailed this one!


Oct 27, 2017 05:06 AM
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois http://dtaylor.remax.com - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Assuming this is after we have put the deal together, and within the inspection period allowed in the contract, I remind the Buyers we went over how we were to conduct ourselves according to the contract, and suggest they review the inspection provisions in the contract.  I stay flexible and allow the inspection.

May 12, 2015 09:37 AM
Margaret Kapranos
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Novato, CA
San Francisco Bay Area REALTOR. 415-608-5070

Lots of good suggestions.  Something tells me this is a family member or friend offering to "do a favor" or a buyer who thinks they know it all or trying to save pennies.  The inspector is not putting it in writing to not get himself in trouble, is my guess.  If that is the case, this is a woefully uninformed buyer.  I would definitely consult with your broker's legal department to protect yourself, along with providing a written explanation to the buyer advising them against this, detailing the action and get them to sign off on this.

May 09, 2015 03:49 PM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

In  Michigan,  there is no license  for inspectors and nothing that states the report has to be in writing from  our boards.  Buyers are free to inspect or not inspect.  They can choose who they like.  That said unless the buyer is a builder doing a flip or tear down.  They always get an inspector, Generally one who  is certified.

May 08, 2015 09:11 PM
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

If you are in a state that requires a license, it's not an option.  In NJ you need a license to perform an inspection of a 1-4 family home.  A license in another state is not acceptable and it is illeagal.   Without a license law, your hands are tied.  You can only recommend to your client what best practices are.

May 06, 2015 12:08 PM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Great question and quite a few answers of similar theme. While we all agree we need to explain the pros and cons to the client, waiver etc. I am shocked that everyone seems to come across as having never ran into this before. LOL  Not a wise choice but there are people that do it. 

May 05, 2015 03:28 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Not your problem.

May 05, 2015 09:55 AM
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

If it's not in writing it is not legal and binding. Check off the box that says buyer chooses not to have an inspection and have him sign.

May 04, 2015 10:13 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It's the buyer's inspector, regardless of who it is and if they are satisfied without a written report, so be it, however, without a written report, it's unlikely the seller would consider any action. Consequently, the buyer could lose their opportunity to buy the property and their fee to their inspector.

May 04, 2015 06:54 PM
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA


I'd at least discuss it with my client.  In my state they can have whoever they want, but if they are not a licensed inspector and didn't provide a report, I don't know how we'd be able to request any repairs or corrections. 

When I purchased my first house, I bypassed using a licensed inspector and brought a friend over who had built houses.  We stepped all over the bodies of dead carpenter ants and didn't know it.  Any competent inspector would have found them and the seller would likely have paid for treatment. 

May 04, 2015 03:48 PM