I am a seller’s agent and working with a buyer customer. They’ve asked me to recommend a home inspector. Is there a rule regarding seller’s agents recommending a home inspector?
The law prohibits brokers and salespersons who are not working in the capacity of a buyer’s agent from directly recommending a specific home inspection company or home inspector. They may, however, provide a complete list of licensed home inspectors prepared by The Division of Professional Licensure, which can be accessed here: http://license.reg.state.ma.us/public/hi_biz/v_list_hi.asp.
It is important to remember that this prohibition against recommending a home inspector shall not apply to agents working for the buyer as a buyer agent. Buyer agents are allowed to recommend a specific home inspector to clients. However, for liability reasons, it is always recommended that the buyer agent provide a list of several inspectors so that the client can choose a home inspector for themselves.
As a listing agent, I won’t recommend a Home Inspector but I would like to make their business cards or other promotional material available as a reference. Is this acceptable?
The law states that real estate agents (except those representing the buyer) cannot make direct or indirect recommendations on the use of home inspectors to their clients. The promotion of business cards and materials could be seen as indirectly recommending those home inspectors and therefore a violation of the statute.
Notes from the MAR Legal Hotline are provided by Michael McDonagh, MAR General Counsel, Ashley Stolba, MAR Associate Counsel and Justin Davidson, MAR Legislative & Regulatory Counsel.