HA! Builder Tricks Foiled Again!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Pretty familiar call.  It's 4:40 or so and I'm on my way to my last appointment.  "Jay, our builder called just now and tomorrow is the final walk through on my new condo.  The sales lady says she is sorry but if I want a home inspection we need to have it before the walk through at 10am!  My Realtor said to call you."

I laughed, as I always do, because this is so consistent.  This aspect of new construction inspection is not a trend, it is the NEW NORMAL.   But, fortunately, I had a cancellation the next morning and was available!

"Do they want any paperwork from me that I have to email to them tonight?"

"She didn't mention any.  It's Mumbo Jumbo Builders (not their real name)."

"HA!  Okay, we'll see you tomorrow.  I'll get there a little early."

When we arrived I suggested the buyer and Realtor go in to get the key.  I knew what would happen.

They came out with wide eyes.  "She says you need to provide all kinds of stuff before they will allow you to enter the condo!  You better talk to her!"  The suspense thickens!  Was as the inspection canned?  Holy envelope Batman!

I ALREADY HAD MY ENVELOPE IN HAND.  IT CONTAINS COPIES OF EVERYTHING THIS BUILDER'S "CORPORATE POLICY" REQUIRES.

When I went in I simply handed her my envelope.  I said, "Just last week I had an inspection with you all over at ________ development and Lulu Belle (not her real name) also "forgot" to call to schedule the inspection until the last minute and "forgot" until the last minute to mention that the inspector needed certain paperwork.  Wondering then if it was a trend I now realize it is simply a trick Mumbo Jumbo employs to try to prevent buyers from having a timely home inspection.  That's not right.  Here is everything you need."  The buyer and agent heard me say all this.  When I glanced at the Realtor he only smiled. 

Lulu Belle 2 was FREAKED OUT!  She was so flustered her sentences were clumsy.  She needed a teleprompter.  She would not look at me!  I gave her my cutest smile, grabbed my papers and left, without a word.

"Jay, that is really weird that you had all that stuff!"  The agent was massaging my shoulder!  He was really impressed!  Builder tricks foiled again!

"I was taught that lesson a couple of years ago and have carried that stuff ever since.  Yeah, it is a little weird..."

We had the normal fun on a typical, new construction inspection with the normal fun stuff to see.  The supervisor was very glad to see me again also!  We are real buds...

I should say this:  On a home inspection I am not an alarmist.  But I am not a sugar coater either.  Things are as they are.  I merely point them out.  A home inspection, on new construction, flips, or regular, are not gotcha moments!  They are merely a home inspector's opportunity to observe and report.  And that is what I do. 

I also might, just might, make fun of something later in a blog post however.

My recommendation:  remember Robert Baden-Powell's famous motto:  Be Prepared!  To paraphrase a famous statement, you can't always have what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you just might find, you have what you need.  So stuff an envelope!

There is nothing, NOTHING, better than a HA! moment!  And leave'm with your cutest smile!!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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  1. Chris Smith 07/09/2011 01:38 AM
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Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Who knows Reubs!  You might consider it!  Never know when you can make someone's eyes pop!

Michael - I don't understand it either.  It is weird, to say the least.  I was only prepared because a few years ago I got burned. 

Kathy - I have been involved with the Scouts for 49 years, one way or another.  The second time now as Scoutmaster.  We are easy to spot!

Jul 10, 2011 06:06 AM #42
Rainer
80,438
Lynne Ruffin
Century 21 Nachman Realty - Norfolk, VA
Century 21. The Gold Standard.

If you've ever sold a new construction home you can really appreciate this post, and I do.  Job well done!

Jul 10, 2011 07:09 AM #43
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Jay, it's good you follow the Scout motto.

I'd say that builder better learn to follow another saying "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you."  That rabbi really knew what he was talking about, like he is God or something.

Again, glad you are prepared!

Jul 10, 2011 09:23 AM #44
Rainmaker
229,731
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

Success is what happens when planning meet preparation. I think it's pretty dirty of them to put you against the wall like that but as long as you have the answer I guess it worked out ok.

Jul 10, 2011 11:04 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Lynne - not all areas have much new construction, but we do around here.  I do a lot of these.  Thanks!

Jeremy - I think about the Golden Rule all the time, as you maybe have read, and refer to my post often.  That is something that would certainly make life easier and lessen our loads.  As intended...

Nathan - I was prepared because I have been burned.  Obviously they think they are protecting their interests by keeping out some jerk inspector who just spoils the whole thing, but in this case it is a very good think the house got inspected!

Jul 10, 2011 11:57 AM #46
Rainmaker
455,136
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - Great story and a great result for your client.  I just wish I could have been there to see Lulu Belle's expression. And as I commented before, I know firsthand that some builders deliberately try to thwart inspections.

Jul 10, 2011 12:39 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And I am not sure the rationale for doing so John.  I guess they think they are protecting their interests.

Jul 10, 2011 12:56 PM #48
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Jay, yes it would make it all easier as intended.

I just don't understand what builders have to hide!  If I was them, I'd hire you at the end of every stage to inspect it before the municipality inspection so I'd have it done right.  As a builder, don't they want a good product they can put their name on?  Apparently they're only thinking of the dollar!

Jul 10, 2011 12:57 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jeremy - I think their bonuses depend on how cheaply they can put out a product.  So if they can save $10 or $20K on every row of townhouses or whatever that adds up.  Everyone seems so intent on making life difficult - from those who want us to do business to those who want to control us in the gubment.  There is a better way, with an easier yoke and lighter load!

Jul 10, 2011 01:01 PM #50
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Yes there is!  That's my favorite verse, as I so often just long to have that lighter load and long for a easier yoke.  I have it already, but not yet fully.  :)

Jul 10, 2011 01:04 PM #51
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The most frequent admonition is "ask."  See the last one here:    http://activerain.com/blogsview/2298753/three-great-life-lessons

Jul 10, 2011 01:15 PM #52
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Excellent!  I just bookmarked that post as a reminder.

 

Jul 10, 2011 01:25 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks.  Those were some good lessons.

I hope Ann doesn't find out.  She might kick my butt.

Jul 10, 2011 01:57 PM #54
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Yeah, and she can probably still run fast enough to catch you.  :D

Jul 11, 2011 01:23 AM #55
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I haven't seen her in over 40 years, but she still scares me.

Jul 11, 2011 01:35 AM #56
Rainer
170,824
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Thanks Jay, I didn't know that about Baden-Powel's initials and the 'Be Prepared' motto.

Jul 11, 2011 02:08 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Get his book, "Scouting For Boys," circa 1908, and the history of all that is there.  He actually developed all that during the Boer Wars in Africa when he saw how unprepared the British troops were for the experience.

I collect antique books, so I have a copy!

Jul 11, 2011 02:19 AM #58
Rainmaker
344,472
Jeremy Wrenn
Wrenn Home Improvements - Wake Forest, NC
President, Wrenn Home Improvements

Jay, I bet she does!  Make sure she doesn't slip by on a "go" route!

Jul 11, 2011 05:16 AM #59
Rainmaker
1,342,897
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Jay - I always enjoy reading your posts. You turn the most annoying circumstances into fun.

Aug 14, 2011 07:26 AM #60
Rainmaker
1,737,566
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Marte - an oldie but a goodie.  Glad you found it!

Aug 14, 2011 12:47 PM #61
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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