Let’s Keep Home Inspections In Line, Please

It could be argued that this post is a post about agents, or a post about our clients.  It’s neither … it’s a post about expectation management, and the lack of it is driving me crazy.

Every buyer has the right to do a home inspection by a licensed home inspector.  I encourage it – it’s a great opportunity to take a closer look at the real guts of a home, the structure and it’s systems.  We have several we use on a regular basis when representing buyers, in fact, and they do a great job (shameless plug – if you’d like to have your home inspected even though it’s not recently purchased, call Pillar to Post, Inspections Inc or National Property Inspections … they’ll all do a great job).  For a few hundred dollars, you can spend a couple of hours with a nationally-certified home inspector and learn some really valuable insights into how the home is designed, what systems and features are working well and what might be potential problems if left untreated.  It’s  agreat source of information, and I recommend everyone take advantage of it.

Our Contract reads that the purpose of the home inspection is "RESTRICTED TO DETERMINING ONLY that the plumbing (including well, well pump and septic system, if any), heating, air conditioning (if any), electrical systems and appliances are in safe working order, there are no structural defects and the roof is free of leaks."  That’s a pretty comprehensive list at the major nuts and bolts of a house – so why am I getting these home inspection reports and Amendments from Agents and their buyers with these silly, cosmetic requests for repairs?

I bought a house once that had a rusty furnace.  The rust was literally falling into the pilot flame and burning orange – that’s a major safety issue as it relates to the HVAC system, particularly when there was a family of six living with the potential fire hazard.  You can bet we got that fixed as a result of the home inspection!  A wet basement could be indicative of a foundation problem, and a sagging roof could be a sign of insufficient framing trusses.  Those are issues of major concern.  A white, vinyl post cap missing from the front porch railing you just walked past is not of major concern.  Neither are burned out light bulbs, a stain on the laminate countertop, missing drain stoppers or mini-blinds.   

A house can be a home, but please stop asking sellers to make their homes good as new.  If you want new construction, we work with a number of excellent builders – you’ll have to buy your own window blinds though.  Expectation Management. 

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