Almost every day I receive spam from home inspectors in Sacramento. Some of them offer inspections at cut-rate discounts -- and who can blame them? Business is slow for many home inspectors because fewer transactions are closing this year over the last few years. But is cost alone a reason to choose a home inspector?
Some buyers are wary about hiring an agent's home inspector. They may think an agent might promote only those inspectors who won't "blow the deal." A few agents probably fall into that category, but not very many of them. Most agents want their clients to receive a complete picture of the home's condition, if, for no other reason, that to offer less than a truthful picture is a huge liability for an agent and against the law.
I give my buyers a list of home inspectors to choose from, which includes a brief bio on some of them. I also note that if none of the inspectors on the list appeal to them, buyers are encouraged to choose a different inspector from several trade associations, with links provided. I do not choose the home inspectors for my clients because it's not my home and not my home inspection fee.
Lately, I've noticed a certain home inspector has been favored by my buyers more often than not. He charges a lot more than the rest of them. He doesn't use software to prepare his home inspections -- he gives buyers a hand-prepared, lengthy narrative report, complete with actual, hard-copy (not digital) photographs. He is also the guy sometimes called by the court to provide expert testimony in cases involving home inspections.
I try to attend my home inspections. This way I can answer questions and be there for my buyers, but I also tend to learn something new. I will never know it all. The more I learn over the years, the more there is to know.
Yesterday, for example, I attended a home inspection in Sacramento. The buyer in this case is responsible for the pest work because she purchased the home in "as is" condition at a fabulous price. He discovered evidence of raccoons in the attic, which the pest inspector missed. He also noted that he didn't find any live pest infestation under the home, but was quick to explain that he is not a pest inspector and not licensed to give that kind of advice.
Good thing that I had already advised my client to obtain her own pest inspection and not rely on the termite report handed to us by the seller. The pest inspection recommended tearing out the shower walls to fix a shower pan leak and replacing those tiled walls with marble. Give me a break.
There are many types of home inspections that a buyer can get. A home inspection is only one of them.
Photo: Caylyn Brown