WHEN A HOME INSPECTOR WRITES "DOESN'T MEET CODE". . . . . Best Business Practices.

Reblogger Dale Taylor
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

When Buyers make a decision to have me to prepare an offer on the home they desire, I make an effort to insure their decision is not an emotional one.  What I mean by this is I provide them all of the disclosures and encourage them to join me in conducting an additional "technical tour" of the property before I submit the offer. 

On this tour I remind them the home was constructed by human hands.  I further remind them human hands are not perfect.  This "technical tour" helps them to discover things they did not notice the first time.  On this tour I show them all of the mechanics of the home.  Kind of like the behind the scenes tour of a movie studio.  Now, they have seen more than what made them fall in love with the home. 

Once the offer is negotiated an accepted, I prepare for the home inspection.  I encourage them to inquire two primary questions when the Inspector suggests a potential program, to ask is this a maintenance issue or a repair issue? 

Inspections can "steal a dream" when fear grips a Buyer.  When a flaw is broken down into whether it is a maintenance or repair consideration, fear can be better managed, and solutions can be negotiated before Buyers run away from their dream home.  Lenn, below shares some very good information on what home inspections can accomplish for a Buyer.   

Original content by Lenn Harley 303829;0225082372


That is a statement that is guaranteed to make a home buyer become very insecure about the Home Inspectorhome he has decided to buy. 

Inspired by an article by Charles Buell, Home Inspector extraordinaire, I was taken back to some of the home inspection whereby the mention of the "code" was problematic. 

My question is always, which code?  Rarely is that question answered.  If a feature in a house doesn't meet the code, we need to know WHAT SECTION OF THE CODE.  The buyer or seller may want to follow up with the county to determine the future problems that may ensue.

I LOVE HOME INSPECTORS.  They provide a sense of security for home buyers that they are buying a home that will give carefree living for a reasonable amount of time assuming that good home maintenance is provided.  When a home inspector does a thorough job, we use that report to negotiate seller repairs, often defects of which the seller was unaware.  Knowing that sellers are not required to make any repairs, home inspectors help if they limit their comments to actual defects.  A written report may reference future maintenance recommended to the buyer which buyers appreciate.  Of course, if poor maintenance is evident in any system, that should be written and the buyer with their agent will know how to handle it in the repair notice because poor maintenance does affect future life of many systems.

"DOESN'T MEET THE CODE" can be a deal killer for sure.   Home inspectors will be helpful if they write defects that reflect the PRESENT CONDITION OF THE HOME and not try to show their superior knowledge (which they surely have) by expressing opinions about HOW THE HOUSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT.

Some time ago, we had a home inspector insist that he write in his report that a basement window "doesn't meet the code for egress".   Normally, in a home owner installed an improvement without a permit, this would be helpful information.  However, THE HOUSE WAS 250 YEARS OLD and the windows in the basement were original.  If the home inspector had mentioned a comparison of basement windows today compared to 250 years ago, it would merely have been interesting.  Writing the windows as a defect in an historical property made no sense. 

On new construction, we had a home inspector write that the riser on the bottom basement step was 1/2 inch less than the code, a fact that was known to the code inspector and the builder and under present condition, not going to change. 

Home inspectors are often the only person, other than a builder, who is competent to understand the myriad components and systems of a house and tie them all together to give a home buyer a feeling that they are buying a "good home" and not a money pit

It helps if the home inspector examines a home as it is, which is how the homes are purchased "as is" with a home inspection contingency.   How the home inspector believes the house should have been built, especially if the house is 250 years old cannot possibly fit within a home inspection contingency.

BEST BUSINESS PRACTICES REQUIRES THAT AGENTS KNOW JUST WHAT A HOME INSPECTIONON MEANS ON NEW CONSTRUCTION.  Home me buyers can only protect themselves by having (and gladly paying for) a home inspection New Homeduring the construction of the property.  Waiting for the final pre-settlement walk-through is not going to give a home inspector the opportunity to inspect much other than the systems in a home which are covered by manufacturers warranty.

It's the basic foundation, framing and tying the house together from the ground up that needs an outside and objective inspection.  Don't forget, there is no home inspection contingency for new construction.  Best find defects or omissions while it's possible to make proper changes.  This is why we recommend a 3 step inspection, foundation (before the slab is pured), pre-drywall and final pre-settlement.  If any phase is not included to save inspection money, best to leave the final pre-settlement inspection.  When the builder's representative advises that "you don't need to pay a home inspector, the county does it for you", BEWARE!  That is a sales-person working for the builder talking.  There are many homes with lasting defects that affect value and even safety that were inspected and passed by the county code inspector.  The builder obtains a permit based on architecturals submitted, not on the quality of construction.   

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988. 


WHEN EXPERIENCE COUNTS, home buyers will enjoy our many years of serving home buyers in Northern Virginia for over 25 years.  We provide buyers with . . .
* Comprehensive home searchs,
* Personal tours of homes for sale,  
* Comparative Market Analysis for homes under consideration,
* Experienced financial analysis to help you understand different loan opportunities,
* Personally manage home inspections, termite inspections, settlement meetings,

Lenn      search     

Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988


For a tour of homes in your location of choice in Loudoun County, contact Homefinders.com.  We'll arrange a wonderful tour and you can get to know the county, shopping, recreation, the real estate market and the hardest working Buyer's Agents in the area. 

Ask about NO DOWN PAYMENT loans up to $1,000,000 with  to help with closing costs help when you buy a home in Loudoun County with the help of a Homefinders.com Buyer's Agent.  We can help. 


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Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

It is truly interesting to read some reports and then find the answers and keep deals together.

Dec 27, 2011 06:03 PM #1
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

That's because you know your stuff!  LOL

Dec 27, 2011 06:18 PM #2
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Dale - I just attended a home inspection yesterday, and we had a few things that were not up to current code; I reminded the buyer that the inspector is there to to do an evaluation of the home, and code has changed since the house was built in the 1940's.

Dec 27, 2011 11:04 PM #3
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Hope all goes well for you Carol.  Wishing you a happy new year filled with amazing health and unexpected income.

Dec 28, 2011 03:44 PM #4
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Dale Taylor

Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
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