Home Inspections - Do you take them seriously?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Professionals, Inc.

I recently closed on a transaction where my clients was purchasing a house and hired a home inspector.  The home inspector wrote up the following in his report:

Larry DeGroat, Searcy Arkansas Homes For Sale

We wrote an Inspection & Repair report requesting this to be repaired as directed.

There are two issues that I have on how all of this went down.  First, after all of the excitement of the last two days before closing, I visited with the home inspector about how this was worded.  I think it is good for the Home Inspector to report his findings only.  I feel when they make recommendations as specific as this one was, they hold themselves to being a heat and air professional.  In talking with this inspector, which is a great guy and a good inspector, he stated that they are suppose to give a solution when they make a note of the problem.  I think that is fine but the above statement said this is a maintenance issue and should have left that off and stated that there was water in the safety, overflow pan and recommend a licensed heat and air technician to investigate for further problems, period.

Secondly, when we gave this report to the Listing Agent and the Sellers, they hired a handyman to take care of this and the rest of the items on the list.  I do understand how someone could take the list of these items and think they were pretty generic and easily repaired by a handyman.  The handyman did as the report read above.  He cleaned out the line and thought everything was good.  When I brought the buyers through for our walk-thru before closing, we noticed water was still in the pan.  I knew that it should not be there.  That is the last safety measure before a major problem.  I contacted the Listing Agent and discussed this with him and met with him later that day.  We all thought the line was not cleaned out therefor the water still in there.  The Listing agent had the handyman to clean the lines again and he was adamant that it was fixed.  I then contacted the Licensed Heat & Air professional that I use and he told me that the whole coil would need to be replaced, it cannot be repaired.  I thought, that is just great, we have already used the Repair Limit and it was the day before closing (at least it wasn't after closing, whew!).  The seller did agree to make the necessaryrepairs and we moved on.  I made a recommendation to the Listing Agent that when making repairs to a house that is not his own and especially one that is sold or under contract, he should hire a licensed professional when it comes to heat and air systems, plumbing and electrical.  I have learned that it removes a lot of liability off of my shoulders and places it on the professionals.  EVERY AGENT SHOULD DO THIS, even the home owner should do it as well. 

Well, the problem was MAJOR, not a maintenance issue.  The slab coil was rusted through and was leaking in the safety, overflow pan, as you can see the pan above is rusted badly and the compressor outside was all clogged up.  When removing the old coil to replace it, the coil was packed with krud (see pictures)

Larry DeGroat, Searcy Arkansas Homes For Sale

Larry DeGroat, Searcy Arkansas Homes For Sale

There is no way any air could flow through this.  This is the slab coil.  I guess you know by now, I got a heat and air professional involved.  When he went to fix this, he searched for the problem that caused this and found that when the house was built, the return air was not sealed and this unit has taken a bunch of abuse for the past ten years.  He did fix this and repaired everything that needed to be fixed at a cost of about $1,000.

Again, the thing Agents, Seller and Buyers need to take away from this is that they NEED to hire a professional when making repairs to a house they are selling or buying.  The home inspector did state that a Qualified Person should repair the problem.  If a licensed heat and air professional had made the recommended repair (cleaning the lines), he/she would have or should have found the real problem. 

Again agents, take the load of liability off of your shoulders and put it on theirs!  We closed, and everyone is happy (after a very stressful two days).  Happy Selling! :)

My name is Larry DeGroat and I am a Realtor at Realty Professionals, Inc. in Searcy, Arkansas 72143 and I sell new homes, existing homes, commercial property, farms and land as well as manage and own rental properties. If you are looking for real estate for an investment or a home, I will be glad to assist you! You can call my personal cell number at 501-278-7659 or e-mail me at Larry@Searcy4Sale.com. Visit my website at http://www.searcy4sale.com if you are looking for Searcy homes for sale or other areas.

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Rainer
48,180
Sara Goss
HatmakerGroup.com GMAC Real Estate - League City, TX
Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas

HVAC issues are pretty standard in inspection results here in our heat and humidity ... there are some good HVAC companies that can properly correct issues too!

May 29, 2009 10:07 AM #1
Rainer
15,054
Jim Norbuta
RE/MAX Traditions (Cleveland, Ohio) - Chagrin Falls, OH

Larry,

Good job.  Your clients must be pleased.

Many Blessings,

Jim

May 29, 2009 10:45 AM #2
Rainmaker
698,172
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

ABSOLUTELY. The home inspector went outside his area of expertise with that specific a description in writing. I wouldn't have had a problem with him telling us what he suggested as 'one possible way' to address this item but they should be referring all repairs to the appropriate pro in that area in writing. I'm actually surprised he did that.

Our Contracts call for a 'licensed professional' to do repairs on items reasonably disapproved by a buyer during inspection.

It's always loads of fun when the seller fancies themself to be a 'handyman'. Some of the 'repairs' I've seen are pretty comical.

The best thing I saw was when an owner 'did his own pest control' with some trench pipe and goop around the home -- and by golly he was adamant there were no termites. Till we had a professional inspection. Infested to the nines. Termites don't exactly hold court in plain sight . . .

May 29, 2009 11:00 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,889,857
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Rogers, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

I had a client who hired a home inspector.. he was so good he did not even know how to turn on the air conditioner unit.. needless to say I will not recommend him to any clients. 

Jun 04, 2009 12:57 AM #4
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Rainer
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Larry DeGroat

ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI in Searcy
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