This is a submission from Lania De Mer
The Mother of ALL Home Inspections!!!
All right. Buckle your seat belts! With the arguably litigious society in which we live, I'm sure this will be a post for you to keep and perhaps share with your fellow professionals. I, for one, will never forget the lesson I learned today. Today's home inspection will forever change the way I look at home inspectors and the way that their extensive training can help us to gain a perspective that every real estate professional seems to lack.
I arrived a few moments early for my buyer's inspection. (In Colorado, inspectors have no way of getting into the home unless an agent is there to give entry). Within minutes, I noticed a banana yellow Pinto, (vintage of course), pull up to the curb in front of the property. The door magnet on the car read, "We Inspect Em' Till You Reject Em!" It had a scowling smiley face logo as the dot on the exclamation point. I had a feeling this was going to be a long day.
As the door of the vehicle swung open, I heard what I thought was "walkie-talkie" conversation coming from the inside. That's when I noticed the eight foot long ham radio antenna extending from the roof of the inspector's vehicle with the scowling smiley face antenna topper to match his logo. As my buyer pulled up to join us, I remember thinking, "How can that antenna possibly stand up? It's taller than the inspector would be if he were standing on top of the car?"
Anyway, we made introductions as the distracted inspector proceeded to open his trunk and pull out extensive equipment. He hunched on a black flack jacket that contained all sorts of tools and testers with blinking lights and curious instrument covers.I'm estimating it's weight was somewhere in the proximity of 20-30lbs. After that, he strapped on the LARGEST tool belt that I had ever seen and began randomly, "drawing" flash lights and laser instruments and testing them for battery charge. It was a sight to be seen. Then came the hard hat, non-latex powdered gloves, protective goggles...did I mention the thousand candle helmet light? (I know it was a thousand candle because he said, "yep, this baby shines a thousand candle into the blackest hole you want to face...").
I opened the door and tried to let him know that I would be sitting at the kitchen table, but he turned to my buyer and said, "Shhhh. I think I detect and In-ful-tra-tor on these premises..." My buyer said, "No, it's Lania, she was just saying..." "SHHHHHHHHH!! Now let me tell YOU something Sunny Jim...YOU are MY client. Not this, this...real estate person. I don't see em'. I don't hear em'. And I don't take referrals from em'. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
My puzzled buyer looked at me and shrugged. I was concerned to say the least, but you have to be careful now adays. My buyer had chosen this inspector from the yellow book because I was afraid to recommend someone specifically. I didn't want my buyer or anyone else to think I would steer someone to a home inspector. I just acted like it was silly behaviour and rolled my eyes. I took my place at the kitchen table. THEN IT ALL BEGAN.
The inspector addressed the buyer. "Prior to your arrival, I secured the perimeter of the premises and did a preliminary inspection of the exterior components to determine which check points would be in need of further examination upon your arrival." My buyer looked puzzled. "After which, I have determined that a limited assessment of said exterior components warranted further investigation by a qualified roofing contractor, a qualified siding contractor, a qualified pest specialist and a qualified structural engineer. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have the grade looked at by a landscape contractor, but I'll just make a note about that and you can decide weather that would be a maintenance item or you'd feel more comfortable having the Forestry Society come out and look at that dead limb on the cottonwood back there." He snapped his gum.
As they stepped into the back kitchen door toward the area where I was sitting at the table...it all came down. The inspector began running the dishwasher and disposal, flicking on and off lights, testing stove burners and THEN he came to the refrigerator...a red flashlight popped out of the holster with one hand as the surgical face mask swooped up with his other hand and snapped into position over his nose. "I think we've got us a code 19 here. Now wait... quiet...let me just check this out to make sure before I jump the gun...no it's a 19ER! A 19ER!" A walkie-talkie jutted out of the flack vest..."VERN, come in VERN, this is G-MAN 7, Over..."
"G-man 7, This is Vern. What's yer' 20?"
WE were starting to panic. My buyer was obviously spooked now, "What? Is it mold? Is it black mold? Should we leave?..."
Inspector G-man 7 gently but firmly motioned toward the door with his talkie and flashlight, "It's for your own good, just go outside and await further instructions."
I had had enough..."WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?"
"Mam...you are a non-entity to me. However, in the interest of kindness and humanity, I will tell you that I believe this perishable sustenance container is contraband because of a tampered serial number and may have been placed here by an enemy of our Mother Country..."
"The refrigerator?" I asked.
"Yes, if you must use laymen's terms...the refrigerator. This serial number has been altered with what appears to be a .5mm Sharpie of the early 90's vintage."
"SO?" I knew I was pushing him over the edge, but I didn't see how an altered serial number had anything to do with national security."
"OHHHHH YEAH. You SMUG real estate agents have all the answers don't you? WELL YOU JUST LISTEN HERE MISSY...In a MOMENT, this place will be SWARMING with FBI, AFT, and ALL OF THE IMPORTANT Governmental initials I can think of. VERN is gonna blow the lid right off of this here farce you call a home sale deal. This house is sliding down a hill that is sliding down a neighborhood that is melting off the PLANET and you and the listing agent are trying to cover it all up with a little stroke of your Sharpie pen...WELL I WON'T BE PART OF IT!!!
Suddenly, I heard helicopters and what sounded like voices echoing through bull horns. Through the front window I could see the SWAT team surrounding the house. Agents in Hazmat suits rolled through the kitchen and covered the fridge in an aluminum looking bubble wrapper and wheeled it out on a dollie. I was told I'd be contacted later by the authorities should they need more information.
My buyer decided to wait on buying a home right now. He said, "There's just too much that could go wrong...I just don't think I'm ready for this."
Who are the super sleuths, yielding their fiery gizmos and gadgets untold? The sheer depth of their wealth of knowledge often wasting away, dormant and untapped? A veritable fount of wisdom and knowledge which speaks narrowly a fraction of its luminosity to its vast black subject. Engulfing daily, deeper into the cavernous beast of the residential resale home. They are the unspoken heroes of the cornerstone of our society. The heroes who dare to delve into the deepest, darkest crawl spaces of humanity...the inner workings of the abodeous beast. They are Certified Home Inspectors
Thank you Lania
|Posted by Bob Elliott on 06/13/2007 12:01 AM||Comments (0)||Edit||Delete|
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