Buyers, Know When You Have A Good Home Inspector
Good morning world, today’s topic is Inspectors and how to know a good one from an egomaniac with an agenda. Didn’t know that could happen? It does more than you would think. Inspections are a critical part of any home purchase. When looking for an inspector, you have to first look for a person or a company that is impartial. You don’t want someone with a lot of unsolicited opinions about the home you’ve chosen. Anyone who walks into your potential new property and says “oh my god, look at this place, you’re wasting your money” needs to be kicked by the wayside, and fast. Doom and gloomers should have no place in telling you about your house.
What you need is a professional, honest person that will tell you all you need to know about a house and it’s systems; good or bad doesn’t work into this scenario. They look at everything: outside – roof, walls, grading, walkways, etc… inside – heating, plumbing, walls, ceilings, floors, etc… and tell you the condition of everything. Now these things could be in working condition or not, and the only opinion the inspector should have is if he or she recommends repair, or if things are in working order. An inspector should not say, “this is horrible” or “you shouldn’t take the house because of this”. An inspector is not God, or a licensed contractor and beware of those Inspectors that are (contractors that is; if they are actually God, you should listen to everything they say). It is a conflict of interest to have your inspector be both and in my opinion, you should be afraid that this person will slant any information to their benefit, in order to get a job out of any potential problem.
I actually had a gentleman come into a home to do an inspection for my clients and his opening line was “I’m the bad news bear, I’m here to tell you all of things wrong with this house and why you shouldn’t take it” ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!?? The worst part, is that he actually did a decent job with the inspection of the house, other than the running commentary of “oh no, look at this” and “What were they thinking”. His approach did not allow me to talk frankly with my clients about the results of the inspection and actually made me have to talk them “down off the bridge”, so to speak. Because of his comments, I wound up dealing with a terrified couple. They were first-time home Buyers so they were already nervous about the whole process, which can be overwhelming in itself, but they had now become convinced that the home was falling down and that they should walk away. This made it difficult to explain to them that there are things that you definitely ask to be fixed when coming back to a listing agent with your reply, and there are things that you sometimes leave as normal wear and tear, which is something you have to deal with when you buy a home.
What was even worse was that this home was perfect for them, they had been looking for such a long time and it fit the bill on every level. Yes, there were things that definitely needed to be fixed, but it was totally salvageable and the Sellers were more than willing to work with them to make things right. This man almost lost these people their dream and that makes me angry. Ego and attempting to “save” someone from something have no business in an inspection. It’s an educated opinion, one which helps you understand your property and how it works. It is also meant to help you understand when you need to bring in a licensed contractor, to let you know exactly how much and what needs to be done. Their opinion is not the end-all-be-all and anyone that acts that way should be removed from the situation.
In the end, ask your Realtor who they recommend. They probably have someone, or a few someones whom they trust and have used on a regular basis. You should trust your Realtor implicitly, so why not trust them with this as well. After all, they want you to find the right home and be informed, so naturally they would want you to have a good, thorough inspection company.
Author: Amy Greenstein
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