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Homesellers beware: Home inspector can be weapon for buyer

This home currently for sure is waiting for a buyer, but not eager for the home inspection.
This home currently for sure is waiting for a buyer, but not eager for the home inspection.
Mark Kranz


In this buyers market, it seems as if some homes may never sell. Countless showings, numerous cancellations, incomplete feedback and low-ball offers are just some issues sellers are dealing with.


But the new trend is the overzealous home inspector. While many of these individuals are professionals, there are an increased amount of them who are not. They are only interested in gathering their extensive knowledge they have learned from their increased amount of required training, and turning it into a nightmare for some sellers.


Under most Illinois real estate contracts, the buyer has 5 business days after the signing of the contract by both parties to conduct an inspection and request repairs from the seller through their attorney.


Until a few years ago, home inspectors were not required to be licensed in Illinois. While this has stopped many underqualified people from requesting certain issues be fixed, this falls under the "be careful what you wish for category".


We have seen a dramatic increase of not only upgrades being defined as "hazards" by inspectors, but language being used such as "expected useful life of the furnace" or the dishwasher will be no longer useful "soon".


I find it amazing how one person can walk into a house they have never been in before and declare that the roof will only last "3-5 more years", or the furnace will need replacing in "1-2 years".


Keep in mind that these inspectors charge from $250 to $500 dollars and sometimes more in the Chicago area, and they have to justify their hour-and-a half rate by coming up with as many issues as they can.


The phrases "probable corrosion" or "possible mold" scare buyers to death, especially 1st timers. We had a deal last year that fell apart partly because the inspector noted "possible asbestos" in a 35 year old home in Bolingbrook. No sir, this was not asbestos. It was foam tile.

So when you get that contract and it comes time to have the home inspection, cross your fingers, call your lawyer, and perhaps bake some cookies-in case the inspector gets hungry. You need all the help you can get.

Comments

  • Professional Dealkiller 4 years ago

    Sounds like sour grapes from a realtor that doesn't have a clue. Wonder which inspector he calls when he goes to buy his own home?

  • ww 4 years ago

    Life of a furnace is about design life , If you care Mr Realtor.
    It is quite easy to estimate shingles . Perhaps you should ride along with a inspector.

  • Buyers Best Friend 4 years ago

    As a professional home inspector, in a state that also has licensing, we have a minimum standards of practice to adhere to.
    It is not the real estate agents, or the seller that define what information a buyer expects to receive as part of the home inspection. It is our clients who are paying us the inspection fee, who expect us to provide a thorough inspection and report of the property.
    Sure it would be nice if we could soft sell the report and facilitate the sale, but that would be a disservice to our clients. They deserve better than that.
    I know it is hard for the average real estate agent who sells 10 home a year to understand. I am involved in several deals every week, and the Pros' get how this all works. When the house does not meet the needs of the buyer, they are ready to move onto serve their clients by finding another suitable home.

  • More Intelligent Than You 4 years ago

    "We have seen a dramatic increase of not only upgrades being defined as "hazards" by inspectors, but language being used such as "expected useful life of the furnace" or the dishwasher will be no longer useful "soon"."

    As a RE Agent you should become familiar with your State's Inspection laws and also the SOP's of the major Inspection associations. Reporting on the life expectancy of components is mandated by the ASHI inspection standards:

    "2.2 Inspectors shall:
    C. report :
    those systems and components inspected that, in the professional judgment of the inspector, ........, or are near the end of their service lives."

    I certainly don't agree with it but you RE Agents are the ones that are pushing ASHI Inspectors on the unsuspecting consumers. And now you are complaining because you have not even taken the time to understand that ASHI standards are what seems to be giving you a problem?

    Get a grip and stop pushing ASHI Inspectors!

  • anonymous inspector 4 years ago

    The author of this article obviously has never seen the wisdom of becoming familiar with the other professions that are involved in the homebuying process. The Buyer is best served when each of these professions clearly understand each other.

  • Eagel Eye Inspector 4 years ago

    In a buyers market, the buyers will pick the best homes. As an agent, you should be helping your clients to find the better homes. Home inspections are designed to find the weak points of a home. Agents are the ones who point out all the feel good items of a home. There is an inherent conflict. Stop whinning about the inspection report and do a better job of finding the right home for your client. Inspections commonly take 1/2-3/4 hour for every 500 sq ft. Then the report usually takes an additional 2 hours.

  • Client's Inspector 4 years ago

    This is the type of agent that has caused the real estate industry to become one of the least trusted professions. Sales are all he thinks about. I work for MY client, not yours. It is not up to me to decide what is important and what is not. I give ALL the information to the client and let them decide.

    A foam tile? Is that what the laboratory said? Because that is who says it is, or is not, asbestos. Based on age, the client should have been informed of the potential. Same thing with mold. There is a possibility, but until the lab says it is mold, it is only a possibility. Yet this agent would gladly have the buyer move into a house with a potential for mold and asbestos as long as his sale closes.

    This type of "blame the inspector" mentality is hiding the lack of listening skills this agent has yet to develop. The inspector does not kill the house, the house commits suicide. We merely write the obituary.