(Dictated) "The Weather Was Sunny, 39 Degrees, Subject Property Is A Classic Cape..."

By
Real Estate Agent with MOOERS REALTY ME Broker License 106759

    

The autopsy...I mean home inspections done that you have run in to in your real estate travels.

Are they mixed, varied or very similiar? Had a Maine real estate closing today and the buyer commented on the home inspection. His last one he said the inspector went over the top with detail but more important what he is looking at doing in five years, how to do it and approximate costs. Have you seen home inspections where whether a Ground Fault Interuptor (GFI) electric outlet is noted or not, and little details on a cracked single pane window in the garage but the more important areas are glossed over or even not mentioned?

Have you seen the post mortem, I mean home inspection report prepared by an inspector that was estatic over the color scheme or other factors that really are not the nuts and bolts of the property "physical"?

Was the obvious on a quick walk thru noted but something else missed or not addressed ? As real estate brokers and agents that tour a place many times, each time more is learned, noticed or figured out on why someone did this or that in construction years ago. The real estate home's symptoms hint at the bigger illness or issue. Check those floor stringers with a knife to see if they are doty, punky and deteriorating. And how long are your inspectors at a single family residential property on an average size in town lot from your experience? What is the cost involved? In your state what are the licensing requirements for home inspectors.. 120 class room hours, or experience in the field as a contractor given as hours logged under your belt out in the real work doing surgery on home problems day in and out to make a living with the tools of the trade?

     Are some of the reports a big Bob Vila report on building 101 in a thick binder but the actual property under the microscope, the details pertaining to the actual property is a one pager? A series of check marks. Nice book and impressive information but not hitting the target like you had expected? Tradesman in particular areas that work in the field day in and out, year after year are hard to beat for getting to the facts, the problems, the cures. Don't get me wrong, a sense of brevity, humor about roof shingles in one section around the chimney looking like reindeer played games there. That beyond normal aging or wear and tear happened while the flying deer hitched to a toy filled sled, waiting for Santa to finish up the cookies and egg  nog below got out of hand. The herd was chomping at the bit, kicking, pushing and not listening to Rudolph and shingles are missing or torn. That means roof work needed before next winter snow and ice happens again. Also, more and more national home inspectors are using video to show the problem areas and discuss remedies, costs involved.

     Being with the inspector during the tour is HUGE. Here is a friendly video home inspection approach of dissecting a home that has been viewed 24000 times. Also, the connection of your real estate broker to the home inspector..you want someone indepedent and not beholding to individuals that provide that inspector with the bullk of their business referrals so make sure it is objective. If the property has a problem, you want to know BEFORE the sale so remedies can be worked out. Or the deal derailed rather than a lawsuit later because parties are accused of knowing but brushing over the ten foot pole marks. You want, need to see the evidence of an earlier fire, or shoddy workmanship to cover up a bad surgery hiding bigger problems that come back to haunt after the real estate sale.

Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers

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Rainer
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Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

The only home inspections that are consistent are those done by the same inspector. Reports from different inspectors, in different cities, in different states, can be as varied as snowflakes. The problem is that except in Texas, states don't have detailed Standards of Practice, and the various trade associations are so busy bashing each other that they forget what their primary purpose is.

I'm not sure what this sentence says: "His last one he said the inspector went over the top with detail but more important what he is looking at doing in five years, how to do it and approximate costs."

Concerning this: "Have you seen home inspections where whether a Ground Fault Interuptor (GFI) electric outlet is noted or not, and little details on a cracked single pane window in the garage but the more important areas are glossed over or even not mentioned?" Many home inspectors won't mention an area if there is no problem there. Mentioning only the problems creates a shorter report, something everyone seem to like.

Concerning this: "Have you seen the post mortem, I mean home inspection report prepared by an inspector that was estatic over the color scheme or other factors that really are not the nuts and bolts of the property "physical"?" No. I have never seen a report discuss the color scheme.

Concerning this: "And how long are your inspectors at a single family residential property on an average size in town lot from your experience?" It will vary depending on many things, such as furnished or unfurnished, areas not accessible or not visible, expertise of the inspector, number of inspectors.

Concerning this: "What is the cost involved?" That can vary even more than the home inspection reports themselves.

Concerning this: "In your state what are the licensing requirements for home inspectors. 120 class room hours, or experience in the field as a contractor given as hours logged under your belt out in the real work doing surgery on home problems day in and out to make a living with the tools of the trade?" Don't put too much weight into being a contractor, or a plumber, or an electrician, or anything else other than a home inspector. Contractors in many (most?) states are simply paper pushers. They have to pass a knowledge exam to get their license, but after that they rarely do anything other than talk on the phone or push that paper. Electricians know electricity but not plumbing or engineering or roofing or landscaping, etc. Home inspectors have to know something about everything but everything about nothing.

Concerning this: "Are some of the reports a big Bob Vila report on building 101 in a thick binder but the actual property under the microscope, the details pertaining to the actual property is a one pager?" That's possible depending on the condition of the property -- age, deferred maintenance, etc.

Concerning this: "A series of check marks. Nice book and impressive information but not hitting the target like you had expected?" Not sure what you want since you're not a home inspector. More defects so that you can go back to the Seller and try to get a lower price? Fewer defects so your Seller doesn't have to lower the price and you lose a little commission? The condition of the property is what it is, but if you have any concerns, call the home inspector.

Concerning this: "Tradesman in particular areas that work in the field day in and out, year after year are hard to beat for getting to the facts, the problems, the cures." That's true, but home inspectors are like your family doctor. If you have a chest pain near your heart, do you schedule a visit to the heart surgeon? No. You go to your family doctor, who does some tests and looks for clues and makes a recommendation. Same thing with home inspectors. Sure, you can spend $2,500 hiring a structural engineer, a plumber, an electrician, a landscaper, a door and window installer, a garage door installer, and heating and cooling professional, a chimney sweep, a roofing contractor, a brickmason, a flooring professional, and who knows who else, but what if you don't need to? That's a lot of money to pay for nothing. Overall the home inspection industry offers a lot of value for the cost of the inspection.

Concerning this: "Also, more and more national home inspectors are using video to show the problem areas and discuss remedies, costs involved." Not sure where you are getting that fact from, especially discussing "costs involved." Home inspectors don't work on the properties they inspect, so it would be virtually impossible to discuss costs involves, and there is no trade association anywhere, nor any home inspector attorneys, who recommend discussing costs involved. After all, home inspectors are in a totally different profession. For plumbing costs, call a plumber. For electrical costs, call an electrician. Etc.

Concerning this: "Being with the inspector during the tour is HUGE." Highly agree with that. Most home inspectors want their Clients to be at the inspection to see just how hard they actually do work for them.

Concerning this: "Also, the connection of your real estate broker to the home inspector..you want someone indepedent and not beholding to individuals that provide that inspector with the bullk of their business referrals so make sure it is objective." This is a disconcerting statement because it appears to make the presumption that real estate brokers have no conscious, that they are not interested in what is best for their Clients. I'm disappointed that you would include such a statement in your blog.

Nov 30, 2009 11:20 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,977,697
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

     Russel...thanks for stopping in and commenting.  It's good to have your expansion and two cents. In the reports I have read, I see a vast difference in the approach, the detail, objectivity and even purpose. I hope others with experiences as building inspectors or both buyer/seller brokers using them add to the post.

     If the property has a problem the broker, even owner is not aware of, the building inspector is the extra set of eyes, ears, experience to spend a day going over the place top to bottom. Dealing with the problem before the sale is the time to know the good, bad and the ugly. It's no different than a title problem, a missed right of way, an inherited renter to evict, etc. Knowledge, full disclosure and all the facts on the table for all to see avoid court rooms and litigation and less production use of your time as emotions from disgruntled parties build, lash out and explode.

Nov 30, 2009 12:10 PM #2
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Rainmaker
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Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573

Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
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