New rules for home inspection appointments!

Clarification About Home Inspector Appointments/New Canopy MLS Rules
Updated 09-26-2019

Canopy MLS has implemented two new rules concerning home inspection appointments.  These new rules apply to ANY access to listed property, not just a full inspection or showings (i.e., walk-throughs, radon inspectors picking up detectors, etc.).  Please pay close attention to these rules, as violations carry an immediate $500 fine.

1.  The person opening the lockbox must be the person for whom the appointment is made unless expressly authorized in writing by the seller. 

  • Clarification:  We mistakenly announced that home inspectors must make an appointment through ShowingTime. The rule above DOES NOT REQUIRE the use of ShowingTime.
  • As long as the person opening the lockbox is the person for whom the appointment is made, whether through ShowingTime, the buyer agent or the listing agent, compliance with the rule above is demonstrated. Inspection appointments can still be scheduled by telephone, text message and email.   Remember: Clear communication between agents and inspectors over whose responsibility it is to schedule the appointment is essential!
  • This rule applies to agents, too.  If an assistant or teammate makes the appointment for you, be sure the appointment is in your name or it is noted in the notes section of ShowingTime.  If the name on the appointment is different from the name of the keyholder accessing the lockbox, it will be considered a violation.
  • Affiliate members where Canopy MLS is the primary MLS have the benefit of being able to schedule appointments through ShowingTime.  Here is a step-by-step article that describes how home inspectors can schedule appointments at showingtime.com or through the ShowingTime mobile app. 

2.  Inspector Affiliate Keyholders are prohibited from using a lockbox key or access information to provide access to a property to any person but themselves, unless the other person is accompanying the licensed home inspector when entering a property and the other person’s presence is required for the purpose of inspecting the home on behalf of the licensed home inspector’s client.

 
If the potential buyer will be present for the inspection, then a licensed real estate agent must also attend unless express written permission has been granted by the seller or seller’s representative for the buyer to attend the inspection without a licensed real estate agent.
 
Licensed home inspectors are liable for actions of other persons they admit to a property as if the licensed home inspectors had committed those actions themselves.

Questions?  Contact Debbie Wey, debbie.wey@carolinahome.com or 704-940-3115.

Here are a few of the other questions or concerns that have been raised: 

Q. Home inspection companies with multiple inspectors sometimes fill in for one another as needed based on proximity and demand, which would necessitate appointments being canceled and rescheduled to accommodate the substitution.  Is it possible for appointments scheduled through ShowingTime to be modified with a substitute inspector?

A. No. Once an inspection is confirmed, there is no way to change the name of the showing agent/inspector without rescheduling the appointment. An alternative could be to communicate the change to the agents involved in the transaction via email, and keep a copy in the event there is a dispute.  There is a section for "notes" in the appointment, so it can be noted in the inspection appointment the other inspectors who could possibly fulfill the appointment.  


Q. Is it possible for ShowingTime to provide a “master” account so that an assistant can schedule the home inspection appointments for any of the inspectors affiliated with the firm?

A. It is possible through the ShowingTime Front Desk product, but that is not included in the service Canopy MLS receives from ShowingTime.  Offices can contact ShowingTime to obtain pricing for this functionality.
  

Q. Home inspectors sometimes have difficulty scheduling inspections through ShowingTime for listings if the property is in “Under Contract” status and the listing agent has not authorized home inspection appointments.  Can this be changed?

A. No.  Some listing agents require all inspections (and appraisals) to be scheduled through the listing agent, and there is a box to check for this in ShowingTime. It would be okay for the person opening the lockbox to be the person for whom the appointment is made with the listing agent for the inspection, and it is the responsibility of the person who opens the lockbox to ensure the inspection appointment is confirmed.  


Q. Home inspectors who are not affiliate members of an association with Canopy MLS as its primary MLS do not have the ability to schedule appointments with ShowingTime. Does this mean Canopy MLS subscribers are not allowed to use those inspectors?

A.  No!  It was never our intent to put anyone “out of business” with this rule or force anyone to become an affiliate member of an association that uses Canopy MLS as its primary MLS.  Agents can still use any home inspector they choose, whether or not that home inspector has access to ShowingTime.  It is okay for the person opening the lockbox to be the person for whom the appointment is made with the buyer agent or listing agent for the inspection, and it is the responsibility of the person who opens the lockbox to ensure the inspection appointment is confirmed.  
  

Q.  If a buyer is going to be present at the end of the home inspection to go over details that the home inspector has found, is there a specific form that buyer agents should use to get written permission from the seller or seller’s representative? 

A. Canopy MLS has not developed a form for this purpose.  We recommend that the buyer agent be present with the buyer at the end of the home inspection to go over details that the home inspector has found.  If the buyer and buyer agent will be present at the home after the home inspector leaves, then the home inspector should return the key to the lockbox, and the buyer agent should then obtain the key from the lockbox.  There should also be a separate appointment for the buyer and buyer agent if they will be present at the home without the home inspector after the inspection has ended.  If the buyer will be present at the home inspection without a buyer agent, then there must be express written consent from the seller.

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