Post-Inspection, But Pre-Walk Thru

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

There are plenty of instances, especially in the later stages of a deal, when the Buyer legitimately needs access to their about-to-be new home.

They want to review repairs that the Seller agreed to do prior to closing (I recommend doing that separately from the Buyer’s formal walk-thru inspection); look at personal property the Seller is offering to leave behind; or simply want to to take measurements for new carpeting (admittedly, that’s more of a “want” than a “need”).

In fact, I’ve dealt with all three of these situations — as both a listing agent and Buyer’s agent — in the last few days.

“Not So Fast . . . “

Especially if the house is already vacant, and the Buyer’s agent has the (mechanical) lockbox code from previous showings, it can be tempting for the listing agent to simply say, “Sure, go ahead.”


While the risk is extremely low, it’s a mistake — in this former attorney’s opinion — to grant such access informally.

If the home is subsequently broken into, damaged, or simply left insecure, there’s no way to hold the Buyer’s agent accountable.

Insurance Concerns

As a listing agent, I’d also be concerned about voiding the insurance all Minnesota agents are required to carry — or transferring any liability to the Buyer agent’s insurer.

It only takes a minute to request a showing on MLS, then log the confirmation that usually follows shortly thereafter.

Once that’s done, all parties (including the Seller) have a record of who’s accessing the home, when, and for what purpose . . .

See also, “Home Inspection “Cheat Sheet”: Now 10(!) Different Types (Or is it 13??)“; and “Home Buyer’s Final Walk-Through Inspection.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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