Don't Panic

Home Inspector with Pendulum Home Inspections

Home Inspections don't have to be like going to a dentist.  They don't have to hurt.  The sellers sometimes fear the inspection because they fear some ruthless inspector will come in and "nit pick" their home to death.  Some buyers feel, after viewing a 40 page report with 100 photos, that they better not buy the home because of all the "issues."  In reality, a Home Inspection should be a snapshot in time of a home.  The seller, who is placing the home on the market, should realize that most folks get an inspection prior to buying, so I advise sellers to take the time and do that maintenance that they know needs doing. 

I take the approach on my home inspections to provide a level headed, honest, and thorough inspection.  I never am an alarmist.  I feel that (1) no home is perfect and (2) most issues have a reasonable solution.  By taking this approach, you tend to lessen the "panic" factor to both sellers and buyers.  When a seller sees that you are calm, level-headed, and fair, they gain confidence.  When the buyer sees that you take your time and are very thorough, they gain confidence as well.  The result is that no one panics, and we take a reasonable approach to every issue found with the home, and come up with reasonable solutions.  I think of a doctor that I have, and how much I appreciate him.  Why is that?  He takes the time to explain my "issues" to me, and describes the problem and some possible remedies.  Other doctors tell you little, and leave you thinking the worst.  Home Inspectors can do the same thing.  I don't want anyone thinking the worst without a good, honest description of the problem.  I inspected a beautiful home recently that was 4,000 square feet, two story, on a lake.  It was an L shaped home, and one wing of the home had a severe foundation crack that appeared on both sides of the wing, and went through the slab all the way up through the brick to the eave of the home.  No doubt, it was a bad foundation crack.  However, the doors and windows worked fine inside, and no sheet rock was cracked, and other than this crack, the home was beautiful.  My client was the buyer, a builder of homes, and one you would think would have seen this crack, but he had not.  I simply took him out to the home and showed him the crack.  I explained that while it may be no longer moving, it would definitely be a factor in the the future of the home, and would always be a cloud hanging over the home if he did not get a foundation expert's opinion.  I went on to explain that if I really wanted that home, I would have that foundation inspection done, take the proper action based on that report, and if the solution was affordable and reasonable, then I would not let it kill my deal.  If the expert showed major faults that could cost more money than the buyer would negotiate with, then yes, maybe walking away is the right thing to do.  But, never did I panic.  Both sides got together and came up with a solution.  I feel like I did my job, and pointed out what any would consider a major flaw in the home, but I did not create a state of panic.  I believe this is very important in a home inspection.  I try to instill confidence and a sense of fairness, and explain what I've found, with a through, professional report, and take the time to sit down with my client and explain the issues.  In addition, I do this calmly, reasonably, and never try to instill too much anxiety to the issue. 

I'm 59, and have three wonderful, successful adult children, who have brought or in the process of bringing, 9 precious grandchildren into this world.  We raised them with the same approach.  Never panic, be fair and thorough, be honest, and explain fully what the issues are.  This principal works well in all walks of life, including Home Inspections.



Comments (2)

Gareth Bourriague
Benchmark Mortgage of Louisiana - Baton Rouge, LA
Benchmark Mortgage
Great info!  I still get nervous when I order a home inspection though!  =)
Aug 09, 2007 06:25 AM
Jeffrey Owen - Houston Metro Home Inspection - Katy, TX

Great stuff Carlton.  Whoever invited you to Active Rain must be a heck of a guy!  You might go through and join a bunch of groups, the inspection ones for sure. Just do a search on inspection in the groups area and join which ever ones suit you.  Then go back and EDIT your blog and tell it to post your blog article to the groups you joined.  That way people get to read it!  Keep it coming.




PS.  I am riding with JD's guys on Monday and Tuesday. 

Aug 17, 2007 11:07 AM