Is Anyone Listening?

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you!We all listen; hear to the sounds around us every waking moment. Some of those sounds include people talking to us. Listening also means to heed. As in heed a warning. Home inspectors are people who as part of what we do give people advice and or warn them about potential dangers that exist in their new home. Yet does everyone always listen or should I  say heed what their home inspector has to say?

Receptacle with reversed polarityThe other morning I was inspecting a small cape style home. When I began testing the outlets, right away I found mis-wired receptacles.  On the first outlet I tested that was wrong I noticed a small sticker. When I looked closer it was from another inspection company.

I asked the agent how long the current owners had been in the home. The answer was 2002. So it is possible this plug along with a few more, were flagged back then and never repaired?

This made me wonder how often clients never fix the items on the inspection report. I have a few times over the years inspected the same home twice, years apart, and found the same defects untouched by my original clients. It really makes me question how many items get fixed or simply get pushed aside because of other priorities.

Do clients hear the inspector?



James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.


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  1. Dan Edward Phillips 07/25/2011 07:12 AM
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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Oh I'm sure many do not make the changes.  Many intend to and then the move is so traumatic and overwhelming that they never get to all the stuff they planned to.  Then they get busy.  Then, they forget.

Jul 23, 2011 12:29 AM #1
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning James. Your point is well taken and I think it important to listen to the inspector or why bother to have one. It seems today it is largely a negotiating tool. Too bad.

Jul 23, 2011 12:31 AM #2
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi James - Wow! I guess I'm part of a small group. If the items listed by the home inspector haven't been fixed before my home purchase, it becomes part of my priority list of repairs to make when I move in. It seems silly to have an inspection and then ignore important items highlighted by the inspector's report.

I HEAR you!  ;-)

Jul 23, 2011 12:41 AM #3
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a client call me the other day, for whom I did an inspection FIVE years ago, asking me who to call to repair the items on their report as they are selling their house.

They thought I remembered all the items too...

Jul 23, 2011 12:47 AM #4
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

I was thinking about the very same thing the other day.  I think the stuff that comes out of my mouth and head is pretty valuable stuff but I guess out of sight out of mind for most people.

Job security for us I guess and the more us inspectors are heeded to more valuable we are.

Jul 23, 2011 01:23 AM #5
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hey James-I think what the buyers hear is the sound of a calculator figuring out how much of a discount they are going to try and get off of the contract. If it is major it gets fixed like a roof leak or cracks. Stuff in the walls like above described very often get ignored.

Jul 23, 2011 02:11 AM #6
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, the funniest story like that that I have is during the first year I was an inspector I found an electrical wire crossing a ridge cap that was completely worn through to the bare wire.  The electrician called me from that house to tell me how great he thought my report was.  The wire is still on the ridge cap to this day:)  I would bet that the vast majority of stuff never gets fixed.  Most water related issues do however.

Jul 23, 2011 02:42 AM #7
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

I'm sorry, James.  Did you say something?  ;P

Jul 23, 2011 04:25 AM #8
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC


Is this not human nature? It would be interesting to see what percentage of items that found actually get addressed in the first year.


Jul 23, 2011 04:35 AM #9
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

James they hear you just - many just don't listen.  Big difference.  [Just like kids!]  Makes you wonder why they bother paying for an inspection doens't it

Jul 23, 2011 06:26 AM #10
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

I assures you that, no matter how sweet the sounds, some folks just do not listen to the music.


Jul 24, 2011 05:38 AM #11
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Clients do hear the inspector, and they read the reports.  I find in many cases they do not have the skills required to make the repairs and can not afford or do not want to spend the money to have the repairs completed.

Jul 25, 2011 07:09 AM #12
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

I just ran across something similar about two months ago, for the first time ever.  There were a bunch of stickers on outlets that said "reverse polarity".  I thought "Cool!  What a great idea!"  Then I thought "I would never take the time to do that..."

Jul 25, 2011 02:24 PM #13
Peter Schattenfield
Turning Point Estate Services LLC - Wilton, CT
Estate Dissolution and Preparation (203)388-8092 CT.

James, All you can do is lead the horse to water. After that it is up to the horse.

Jul 26, 2011 12:40 PM #14
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Jim- So true - maybe as real estate agents, we should remind our buyers to do these repairs after they have moved in - maybe a 2 months later reminder to look over the report?

See you Tuesday at 2, by the way!  Full inspection, minus radon,

Jul 28, 2011 01:42 PM #15
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection
I generally don't get to reinspect buildings I have already done before. It's rare, two in five years. But guess what I found in each case? Work that still had not been corrected. Worse, incorrect 'corrections'. And in one case my original report was there for viewing.
Jul 29, 2011 06:46 AM #16
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Hello Everyone, sorry for the long delay in response, but I have been away.

Debbie, Are you speaking from personal experience :)

Shelia, I do see that, the buyer wishing to use the inspection to get a better price. That kind of irks me, it's not the reason for the inspection.

Judy, I'm glad you're listening :)

Jay, Now that's funny.

Jim, Job security for sure.

Marco, I think that happens quite often.

Charlie, Waters hard to ignore. I guess electricity is only hard to ignore when you get whacked:)

Jeremy, Nothing important ;)

Don, Yes it would.

Karen, It does make me wonder many things.

Wheat, How poetic.

Dan, Kind of makes sense.

Reuben, This is the first time I have seen outlets marked. I know the company and plan on asking about it.

Peter, Yep.

Dagny, Sounds like a good plan.

Robert, Makes you wonder about all the others you've done, doesn't it?

Jul 31, 2011 01:59 AM #17
Kenneth Miller
Jordan Hill Home Services, LLC - Berkley, MI

Unfortunately, some of those same people don't make the repairs, and then call back months or years later complaining of a failure, and want to blame you.

Sep 29, 2011 10:58 AM #18
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kenneth, I have to say I have never had that experience.

Oct 02, 2011 11:55 PM #19
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