Home Inspections: A Word of Caution

Real Estate

Home Inspections: A Word of Caution

Without exception, in home re-sales I always recommend that my buyer get a home inspection because I want my client to make their offer with eyes wide open. However, counselling for an inspection should also be tempered with some caution. Home inspectors are like general practitioners in the medical world, and that general inspection is intended only to suggest a more comprehensive look into any issues raised in the inspection report, because he is a generalist and not a specialist. Without that bit of caution, a buyer might spin on his heels and walk away from the deal, not understanding that:

The recommendation to call an electrician might mean that a light bulb was burned out and it is too time consuming to expect the inspector to check every bulb
A report that a jet tubs “motor is not functional” was inaccurate, the jets simply needed to be pulled out about a half inch to be turned on effectively
A pool pump that had “gaps” in some aspect of its operation was found to be in good order by the seller’s regular pool guy. “It’s supposed to be that way.”
A crack in the brick veneer of a 50 year home could suggest a foundation problem, but it is a standing 50 year old home and the veneer is not holding it up.
These home inspectors probably get sued all the time and to insulate themselves, they are thorough if not discriminating between what is worthy of mention and what is not, and their reports not infrequently have sent a deal south. The inspection is the beginning of the due diligence period, the ten business days after a ratified contract has been reached in our market. It is advice on who may need to be called next, the HVAC guy, an electrician, a roofer, pool guy, etc. It’s not really a defective condition if the inspector doesn’t know how it works or can’t be bothered to check a light bulb before advising the buyer to call an electrician.

Walt Smith, Broker

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



803 622 5210