Be afraid. Be very very afraid… Home Inspections!

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InspectorsHome Inspections.

Ok, there is really nothing to fear.  I just wanted to get your attention.   Many home sales unnecessarily fall through after the home inspection is done and a report is delivered to the buyer.  Agents, sellers and buyers compare home inspections to a root canal without an anesthetic.  They can be painful.  Let’s see how this nightmare can be remedied or avoided.

  • All home inspectors are not created equal. The cheapest is often not the best inspector and some are not the best at presenting the information intelligently and accurately to achieve understanding with all parties.  Presentation is the key to success.  Attitude is major.

We had to salvage a collapsed sale recently.  The buyer panicked when she got the report.  She submitted a Mutual Release immediately!  She thought the home was falling apart.  This is not uncommon.  It happens more than you know.  The home was built in the in 1960 and was well maintained.  We’ve seen this happen with newer and even brand new homes.  No home is exempt.

  • It’s important to know that the inspection report is an inspector’s evaluation and their own opinion. It is therefore vital to discuss the report and work with the inspector if there are any items that need clarification or could be misleading to buyers.

The Seller has 10 days to respond after receiving the buyer’s Defects Notice.  This time, the buyer wanted out of the contract. We represented the seller.

 Let’s see the steps Steven took to get this train wreck back on track:

  • Steven read every word of the buyer’s inspection report, noting all inaccurate or not clarified information, so he could fully understand what items were legitimate and needing to be addressed.
  • He called the buyer’s agent to reassure him they will go over the report together, emphasizing that the items weren’t unusual and not to panic. (Calm minds work best).
  • Steven called an FHA appraiser to confirm his views on several items. Fact checking.  Essential!
  • The buyer thought the roof was 15 years old because of the report’s wording so Steven got the paperwork proving the roof was just 7 years old.
  • He took the time to meet with the sellers for 1 ½ hours to go over the report so they fully understood each item, line by line, assuring them “we will get through this”.
  • He called the inspector to discuss the report without playing the blame game. He calmly addressed each issue one by one.  The inspector acknowledged he didn’t think about the reaction of the buyer, a mistake he was eager to correct.  He saw his report lacked language of clarification regarding the laws of building codes, what is routine maintenance, what is normal wear and tear and that there was no list of “Action Items” for those items actually needing attention.
  • This inspector learned a lot from Steven and will be even better next time. He had a great attitude and willingness to work this through.
  • Steven set a meeting with the buyer, the buyer’s parents, the buyer’s agent, the inspector, our sellers and himself at the home so the inspector could go over the entire report with everyone present.
  • The buyer’s agent appreciated this greatly.  She was fully on board to understand and to help.  Despair was replaced by a caring determination to resolve the issues on her part.                                                                  What was the result of these steps taken?
    • Thankfully afterwards, this buyer submitted a reasonable Defects Notice reflecting the repairs desired.  Buyer wants the house.  This buyer saw many homes and loves this one.
    • With Steven guiding the way, all of us working together helped the buyer achieve her dream.

    Tip:  When ordering a home inspection, experience, attitude, attention to detail, how the report is written, explanations and knowledge are more important than what they charge.  Inspectors get paid whether the sale goes through or not.  We can help a good inspector get even better by working with them – patiently.  Not just accepting and throwing in the towel when things go wrong.