Can a Home Inspector be a Deal Killer?
I’ll go ahead and say, right off the bat, NO. The reason I say that, is that a Home Inspector does not have the authority to “kill a deal”. The buyer of a property is the only party that can terminate the contract on a potential purchase, due to the findings of the home inspection, pest inspection, or appraisal.
Now, while true that a Home Inspectors findings may provide information that causes a buyer to terminate a transaction, that is exactly what we are paid to do, to provide information. We are not expediters or ushers of a real estate transaction, rather our job is to visually inspect the home and its items and components, and report on the deficiencies found. But it doesn’t stop there, for each deficiency present we are required by the State of Tennessee to state if the item is in need of repair or replacement, requires subsequent observation (more on that to follow in another blog), or warrants further evaluation by a specialist.
I let all buyers know that any deficiency, no matter how large, can be repaired. Now granted, major foundation issues or water intrusion deficiencies may take tens of thousands of dollars to be repaired, but those repairs can be done, and thankfully those major issues are far and few between. Typically I see the same deficiencies day in and day out, most pertaining to improper installations and deficiencies due to neglected maintenance. While most of these issues can be repaired relatively easily and inexpensively, they do start to add up if you find 20, 30, 40, or more defects. In my opinion, this is what causes most buyers to walk away. Most people want a “move in” ready home and do not want to move in and start repairing defects…honey do lists are long enough as is. As well, when several lack of maintenance defects are found, buyers tend to question how well the home has been “kept up” over the years.
My job as a Home Inspector is to report in an unbiased manner, I’m there to tell the story of the home, with impartiality to all parties involved. I neither “sugarcoat” deficiencies to make them seem more minor than they actually are, nor do I overexaggerate deficiencies to appear worse than they are. I take my job very seriously, as buyers are spending anywhere from $60,000 to more than a half million dollars on their potential new home. I’m going to let these buyers know of any and all deficiencies, safety hazards, and items at the end of their typical life that I possibly can.
Next up is the “too thorough” or “too detailed” tags that may be associated with some Home Inspectors, or the statements that the produced report is too long. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve heard, “Long reports scare buyers”. I give my clients more credit than that, I think if you’re making the largest investment of your life; detailed, thorough, and a long report are exactly what you want and EXPECT from your Home Inspector. The 1300 or so home buyers I have worked with have been very pleased with the Reports produced for them, as my reviews will speak to. And, the successful agents that refer me appreciate the information I produce for their clients.
If generalities, soft reporting, and a short report is what you’re looking for, I’m definitely not your guy. But if you’re looking for a Home Inspector who is thorough, detail oriented, and continually studies building standards for your benefit, you have found your Home Inspector. Chances are that I was not included on your Realtor’s “list” of Home Inspectors, I can assure you that’s not due to a lack of thoroughness. If I was on your Realtor’s list, kudos to them, they want you to know everything you possibly can about your potential new home.
Certified Master Inspector