Does a does the seller or homeowner have to leave the property when the buyer conducts the home inspection?
There is no law that requires sellers or homeowners to leave their property during an inspection. While this might be the legality behind it, the social aspect of it is quite different. Even if a buyer has their own buyers agent and a homeowner has their own listing agent, it's pretty awkward to have the seller or homeowner hanging around the property or the buyer and inspector critique and inspect every detail. It's more common for sellers and homeowners to leave the property for the 2 to 4 hours that buyers and inspectors need to carefully inspect the property. It can be a little bit anxiety-inducing and could cut the inspection short if the seller is consistently hanging on the buyer, injecting their own information, or constantly adding their own advice or information about the property.
Now, it could be a benefit as well. Every buyer and seller is different so some buyers love having the seller on-site to answer questions about a remodel or addition or just provide additional information that the buyer and inspector just wouldn't know without the seller's input.
So what happens if the buyer and the inspector show up and the seller won't leave?
There are several ways to go about this and it depends on the buyer's agent and the listing agent. Each situation is unique so often times we have called the listing agent to ask if the seller wouldn't mind leaving the property for a couple of hours so that the buyer doesn't feel awkward or uncomfortable asking the inspector certain questions.
Sometimes the buyer's agent will also be on site and may distract or occupy the seller or homeowner for a while so that the buyer can ask the inspector whatever information or questions they want.
Usually, it comes down to communication. If you have a great buyers agent, and the listing agent wants to work well with the buyer's agent, often times you can come to an agreement fairly easy.
What if the buyer wants the seller to be there.
Again, it comes down to communication. If the buyer wants the seller to be on-site to answer certain questions, that also is a simple question to the homeowner themselves.
You can also glass the home inspector if they prefer the seller to be on site or their experience with having a homeowner on-site during the inspection. Every situation is unique and buyers and sellers along with their agents need to communicate and work together so everyone is happy.